How Does a Pedometer Work

Pedometers can do a lot of handy things exercise buffs can only salivate about. It is one of the most effective ways one can get into a walking and running habit while smiling. Not only can it motivate one towards a healthier lifestyle like no other, it is handy, light, and unobtrusive as well.

It could be said that pedometers can be credited with many a large number of defections towards integrating exercise and lifestyle. While pedometers can be used for either exercise specific activities, it also shines when put to work throughout a normal day.

Whether you are at work or at play, a strapped-on pedometer can keep track of your activities effortlessly and pretty accurately. This gives people a chance to measure their efforts – which is an important part of setting and meeting a goal.

One knock against pedometers is their predilection towards giving erroneous reports. Due to its mechanical component, the pedometer is not known for its accuracy. It is possible that some extra movements will cause the pedometer to become a tad bit inaccurate. For example, if you jiggle it a bit as you run, you could very well upset the normal rhythm of the mechanism, and could cause your pedometer to count a few steps extra or lacking.

Even the latest pedometers will give accounts that are around 5 to 10 percent erroneous. Luckily, for most enthusiasts this figure does not detract from reaching their goals or from reaping the benefits of being able to monitor their progress.

However, some devices can go as far south as 40 percent with its errors. This could be due to many factors. For one, the device itself could have been strapped on incorrectly. This is one of the most common reasons for pedometer malfunction.

Usually, pedometers are worn aligned with one of your knees and fastened around the waist. You may have to adjust its placement depending on the feedback of your pedometer. If you still get unacceptable error rates, then try adjusting until you come to an acceptable figure.

Also, measurements may vary from person to person depending on their body type and their style of striding. But whatever the reason, it should be noted that a thorough understanding of how a pedometer works is the key to using it properly.

How it Works
The principle for counting steps using a device isn’t new. In fact, it was invented by Thomas Jefferson in the 1800’s. The principle is pretty simple and straightforward. A device worn close to the body counts steps using the principles of equilibrium and inertia.

When a person strides or makes movements, the balance of a device on the pedometer is disturbed enough to make sensors count a step. So, continuous movement will keep the device counting.

The only disadvantage is that if you agitate the device, it could include that figure in the total step count. The newer pedometers can counter this effect but most pedometers will fall to this test.

With this knowledge of how the pedometer works, one can now understand the shortcomings and proper use of the pedometer. If you are truly looking for an accurate way to measure the distance you have traveled, then you could use a GPS enabled system to do so.

However, from a practical point of view, the pedometer does the job well enough, so such measures won’t really be needed.