Useful Tips

What is a pedometer and how does it work - we answer popular questions


According to research, most Russians take no more than 5 thousand steps per day, while at least 10 thousand are necessary to maintain health! Otherwise, the lifestyle can be considered sedentary, and its consequences are rather sad. But it’s almost impossible to calculate your own steps, and who will do it? Pedometers are convenient devices that allow you to control physical activity. It does not matter whether you walk in the evenings for health or do jogging for weight loss, the pedometer in any case will be invaluable in calculating the results. It will not allow you to evade the necessary load or overwork.

Pedometers were originally created for athletes, but now they are used by everyone who runs or walks independently.

Sometimes you can find the word “pedometer”, but it’s wrong, it’s true to say “pedometer”.

Using a pedometer

Before you fasten the pedometer and start walking, carefully read the instructions for it. Think nothing is easier than using a pedometer? The fact is that the devices differ in types, and the method of fastening depends on this. Some models need to be worn on the wrist, others should be attached to shoes, and others should be worn on the waist belt. There are those who can even work in your pocket. It is important to find out exactly how your pedometer works, otherwise it is impossible to get a reliable result.

Pedometers allow you to calculate the distance you walked: the device focuses on the length of the steps and their number. The device will determine that you have taken a step, because at the time of its completion, the acceleration of your body at some point will be negative. This is exactly what the pedometer reacts to. In a mechanical pedometer, the weight experiences spring resistance, and then turns the counter, shifting it by one. But in an electronic device the same thing, only an electromechanical sensor. Modern models often additionally have microprocessors that can almost completely eliminate false positives.

There are also pedometers that attach directly to the sole: the indicator increases by one as soon as you click on the device, taking a step. The sensor is located on one leg, so a couple of steps are considered.

Newer devices are equipped with GPS, which greatly reduces the likelihood of errors associated with body movements performed on the spot.

If you do not have sedentary work, then the pedometer at this time continues to count the results to you. It is at this time that you are particularly at risk of getting multiple false positives. Also, the pedometer does not doze off while you are moving in transport. Therefore, the first few days you just need to monitor the device, turning it off at some points, for example, while you are driving to work.

What is a pedometer and why is it needed

Pedometer - a device that measures the number of steps (distance) of the person who uses it. The principle of operation is based on the accelerometer sensor, which responds to a change in the speed of movement (the calculation is carried out when the foot touches the surface).

The ability to control the distance traveled and the speed of movement is useful to the following categories of people:

  • Those who maintain healthy lifestyle and activity control, including distance covered.
  • He regularly goes in for sports and controls the level of fitness.
  • He wants to lose weight and counts the calories spent on running and walking.
  • Counts the distance in the campaigns to control the planned rate and his strength. The device can be used in any other cases when you need to clearly know the number of steps or the distance traveled.

Features of the device and work

How a pedometer works depends on its specific type. But there is a general principle: any such device works on the basis that a special sensor is triggered during the braking phase of the human body when walking. Each action the device transfers to the reader, fixes it and transfers information to the dial, display or display, taking into account the type. Thus, the total number of perfect shahs is considered. Given this and knowing the time, it is possible to determine the speed and distance independently and automatically.

How a pedometer counts steps is determined by its type. There are three of them:

  • Mechanical pedometer. Quite simple, existing devices for a long time. The essence of the work is based on the work of a swinging pendulum-load on a spring, which is connected to the gear. The weight at a perfect step moves to the clove, and the gear scrolls. The system that connects to the dial makes the hands of the device move by counting steps or distance. Today, such devices are considered obsolete, and they were almost completely replaced by electronic devices.
  • Electronic pedometer. Modern electronic or digital devices are considered as accurate as possible. They not only measure steps or distance, but also verify the readings with satellite navigation. Thus, the distance covered will be as accurate as possible. The device also shows in detail the path and speed. Often, electronic pedometer watches are supplemented by programs that count calories and set an individual load plan.
  • Electronic mechanical pedometer. Such designs act as follows: the mechanical vibrations of the sensor are converted into electrical pulses, and then the results are displayed.

The view determines the device device. A mechanical device consists of a step detector and a device that records their number - a counter. This is a kind of weight that fluctuates with a step. When the counter oscillates, it is transferred to one division, fixing the step. In an electronic pedometer, vibrations are recorded thanks to a piezo plate. When a given material acts on a crystal, an energy impulse appears. It passes through the microcircuit and is transformed into data on the screen.

How to use a pedometer

How to use a pedometer is largely determined by its specific model. But there are general points worth considering.

  • Pedometer setup. How to set up a pedometer depends on its type. Usually they are configured by entering the necessary personal data: height, weight, step length. Also, all of them have a transition mode to run. In standard devices, you usually first need to set the clock correctly in the settings. Then all the necessary information is entered, and the device is ready for use.
  • Stride length measurement. To measure the step length, you need to go through five usual steps and measure the length of the distance, and then divide it into five. This is the desired value.
  • Pedometer charge. Portable devices are usually equipped with a charger that comes with the kit, and you can charge them through it in the usual way.
  • Cheat steps. Some pedometers are easy to cheat and wind up steps. This mainly applies to mechanical devices - just simulate movement when walking. In addition, since many devices consider intense movements, you can gain steps by moving your hands.
  • Pedometer reset. To reset the readings in a classic electronic device, press and hold the Reset button until the readings return to zero.
  • Calorie Counting. Many devices are equipped with this feature. To do this, select a special mode (usually indicated by the word Kcal), enter the body weight and set the desired value. The counter will start counting automatically when it detects movement. Instructions for the device contain more accurate information on how to use it.
  • Power saving mode. Electronic pedometers turn off automatically if no movements are made within a minute. The values ​​of the calculations made before this are saved. When you resume movement, the device will automatically turn on and continue counting.

Pedometers - Features

From the name itself it becomes clear, this is a device that allows you to count the number of steps a person has taken.

There are 4 types:

  1. Mechanical. Not available for a long time, but found. The basis is a weight. He changes position when moving. At the same time, the readings and the number of steps change on the dial.
  2. Mechanical-electronic. The design includes two devices: a pulse counter and a motion sensor. The principle of operation is similar to the device described below.
  3. Electronic pedometers. Consists of three accelerometers. When moving, the device is shaken, the pulses are converted, reflected on the dial in the form of numerical readings.
  4. Telephone. Special software related to the accelerometer installed in the phone. Without it, the pedometer does not work. More details - below.

How to choose a pedometer

Before buying a device, you need to study its characteristics. You can read reviews about the model of interest by analyzing its pros and cons.

The price of the device is determined by the functional characteristics and fame of the manufacturer. It can vary between 300-6000 rubles. When choosing, consider all the indicators and advantages of the device. Experts recommend taking into account such points:

  • Autonomy. Some devices can hold a charge of up to one month, which is convenient for those who are used to activity and are constantly involved in sports.
  • Moisture protection. There are trackers that you don’t have to shoot, even when you're in the shower or in the pool.
  • Screen. Makes the process of using the device easier by displaying information about the heart rate, time, distance, and so on.
  • The size. If we are talking about a bracelet, it should fit well on the wrist, without interfering with finding the hand in a natural position.

It is also better to clarify which operating systems are supported by the device.

Electronic pedometers are offered by many manufacturers. You can pay attention to the following models:

  • Misfit shine. It is an aluminum disc that defines steps. Connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0. The device counts calories and distance. You can attach it to a belt, strap and even toe. The device can operate on battery for four months. It can withstand depths of up to 50 meters. It is made in several color schemes. The price is about 4,500 rubles.
  • Xiaomi Mi Band 2. This Chinese pedometer is multifunctional and stylish in appearance. It can withstand moisture. With it, you can plunge into the water for half an hour, but not more than one meter. Able to work without charging for 20 days. The price is about 1,500 rubles.
  • Moov now. The gadget is comfortable to wear on your wrist. It looks like a tablet, where the axiometer is located. The strap is quite light. It fits well to the hand, does not slip. The battery lasts up to six months. Settings are set manually. The device can be bought for 5500 rubles.
  • Fitbit alta. A very expensive and multifunctional gadget at a cost of about 9000 p. In continuous operation for five days. It is unstable to moisture.

The choice of pedometers in the market is wide enough. You can buy them both in ordinary sports stores and in online stores. Before buying, decide what you need the pedometer specifically for, what its functions are in priority, and what budget you are looking for.

Why do we need a pedometer

A person who actively maintains his form can hardly do without such a device as a pedometer. This device has three main functions:

  • quantification of steps taken,
  • fixing the distance traveled per day,
  • Accounting for the total number of calories burned.

In addition to these mandatory functions, they complement the device with various options for other measurements.

The second name of this device is “pedometer”. The pedometer can be not only an independent device. It can be a functional part of watches, smartphones, bracelets.

The simplest models of pedometers solve the simplest task - summarize the steps taken.

The main functions of pedometers

Even in advanced devices, accounting for steps remains the main function. When a person has constant quantitative control over all movements, his behavior during the day changes. He is trying to take more steps to meet the established daily requirement. This comes with the understanding that movement is the foundation of health.

In the beginning, you need to control yourself, not trying immediately and without fail to fulfill the norm of five to eight kilometers a day (10,000 steps). You need to choose a distance that you can overcome without much effort, and add 400 steps daily.

Distance traveled - this function allows you to translate steps into kilometers. Many consumers prefer this type of quantitative accounting. Six kilometers have been traveled in a day - that sounds solid.

To implement this function, the device must specify the anthropological data of the user - height, weight, in addition, measure the step length.

For people who want to bring their own weight back to normal and try to monitor their diet, the calorie burn function helps a lot. Moreover, the device counts both the calories that come from eating food, and the calories spent on overcoming the daily distance.

Calories burned should at least slightly exceed consumed ones - the main formula for stabilizing normal weight. The calorie balance function in the pedometer allows you to successfully monitor these indicators.

Secondary functions

Advanced pedometer models are a mini diagnostic lab. In addition to elementary step counting, it performs a number of additional functions:

  • the pedometer can act as an alarm clock, sound an alarm to wake up during the light sleep phase,
  • normal clock mode and FM radio,
  • the device can be connected to a computer, such a function makes it possible to control the degree of activity throughout the day and draw up a task for the next day,
  • a mobile module connects the device to the satellite, helping to choose a route on the map,
  • in the device’s memory, you can store the results of previous days, which allows you to compare the effectiveness of training and adjust their intensity and duration,
  • the pedometer can also be used as a stopwatch, which is useful when passing through high-speed sections,
  • some models are equipped with a thermometer function, they instantly show body temperature,
  • advanced models help to carry out a series of breathing exercises, the device can be rebuilt into a chest pulse meter,
  • There is a pedometer phone; some smartphones are made with built-in pedometers.

The range of additional features of the device is quite wide, so the choice depends on individual preferences.

How various pedometers work

Back in ancient Rome, legionnaires used mechanisms to count the distance traveled. For us, these devices seem completely uncomfortable, bulky. When the watchmakers took up the improvement of this device, the pedometers became more compact and went into the category of household, sports devices.

Devices for counting steps taken can be divided into three groups:

  1. Mechanical devices.
  2. Electronic devices.
  3. Combined electromechanical devices.

Compared with the samples of past times, when mechanical pedometers were bulky devices, now they are much smaller, but the principle of their action has not changed. A modern mechanical pedometer is comparable in size to a pocket watch.The principle of operation is also similar to the work of the clockwork.

With this design, the pendulum at any step rotates the drive gear by one tooth. This movement, through the transmission mechanism, forces the arrow to move one division.

This is an almost complete analogue of the automatic winding of watches, but instead of the traditional dial, there is a scale with steps. Such a device can give false readings if you wave your hand while remaining in place.

The further development of progress helped to abandon mechanical gears - electronic recording of pendulum movements appeared. The device became much smaller in size, but the measurement error remained. To obtain accurate results, the pendulum pedometers must be fixed to the waist belt.

The active introduction of microprocessors in household appliances has radically changed the device and the dimensions of the pedometer. The accelerometer (made on the basis of a microcircuit), which evaluates accelerations in various directions, has become the heart of a modern device. Data processing is carried out according to specialized programs.

Such a pedometer correctly calculates steps, regardless of location - in the hand, on the belt, in your pocket. The best models can classify the type of activity - a person is running or walking with a walking step.

There are instances based on contact sensors that give an impulse when pressed, they are fixed on the sole of the shoe. Since the sensor is mounted on one leg, the pedometer counts pairs of steps.

Experts believe that, regardless of the type of device, perfectly correct readings can be obtained only if the device is mounted on a waist belt.

You need to understand that the pedometer can keep track of steps, even if a person moves in transport, especially if this happens on a bumpy road.

How to set up a pedometer correctly

Many do not like to carry additional equipment. For such users, smartphone models with a built-in pedometer are offered.

Sometimes the desire to acquire the desired trend prevails over its actual need. Therefore, before buying a pedometer, you can activate a similar function on a mobile phone, and in two weeks it will be clear whether a separate device is needed. Just note that no smartphone has a heart rate measurement.

The simplest pedometers are easily configured by entering all personal data (weight, height, step length). The function of transition to running is also present in all devices. It must be used, because with active running, a completely different calorie consumption.

In many smartphones, in order to understand how to set up a pedometer, you must first download its program. When the program is activated, the device can be used as an ordinary fitness tracker. Pedometer for Android can be installed on any smartphone.

Also, all iPhones are equipped with built-in pedometers. To enable this function, you need to activate the option "Movement and fitness." Then you need to access the Health program, which automatically counts steps and measures the distance traveled.

The pedometer on mobile devices only works when the screen is on, so the step count function reduces the phone’s charge.

In conventional pedometers, having entered the settings mode, first of all, it is necessary to set the clock correctly. Then personal data is entered and the device is ready for operation.

How to choose the best pedometer

Going to the store for a pedometer, you must first clearly articulate the purpose of the purchase.

  • If the deviations of the pulse do not bother, the cardiovascular system works well and is only interested in the number of steps taken, it makes sense to buy the simplest model,
  • Heart rate monitoring devices are indispensable for people who are in recovery mode or prone to heart ailments,
  • If there is a desperate struggle with overweight, then you need a pedometer that takes into account calories burned during walking. In order not to overwork in this struggle, it is necessary to monitor other additional indicators.
  • People involved in the sport can be advised to purchase the most "stuffed" copies. If the device is purchased mainly for running, it is advisable to buy the model not in a plastic case, but in a metal one, in order to avoid the influence of vibrations.

It is impossible to endlessly increase the daily rate of steps. Sooner or later, a person finds the optimal level of load, allowing you to maintain good shape. It is these indicators that should be the goal of the classes.

How does the pedometer work on the phone?

In essence, this is software. It is designed to count the movements made. In our case, steps.

The principle of operation is simple and consists in the following:

  • An accelerometer (sensor), built into the phone or in the pedometer itself, determines the location of a person in space.
  • A man takes a step and his position changes. Movement (change of location) is recorded by the sensor. Actually, he notes the rhythmic vibrations made during movement.
  • An electronic impulse arising from a change in body position is taken into account by the program.
  • Pulses are converted into a numerical indicator, and it is displayed on the phone screen as the number of steps taken.

How to choose and install a pedometer on your phone?

Typically, phones are available without a built-in pedometer. It is up to the user to select and install it. How to do it?


  • determine the operating system installed on the phone,
  • go to the Internet
  • we select software for the installed OS,
  • Download and install on the phone, following the installation instructions,
  • open the function and settings option and customize the pedometer in accordance with your desires and needs.

Everything. You can use it. You can configure everything, but you can only part of the following functions:

  • the number of movements (steps),
  • time spent on walking or running (active),
  • distance traveled per lesson (in km or m),
  • calories burned
  • analysis of the information collected, which is issued in the form of a graph (activity is noted in the classes and progress achieved),
  • data archive
  • class diary
  • set tasks, goals,
  • training reminders
  • weather conditions are monitored
  • possible communication with other participants in classes and not only,
  • using the program you can adjust the route (using satellite navigation).

Where should I keep my phone?

The most interesting thing is that the placement of it does not matter much. It can be put in a pocket of a jacket or trousers, it doesn’t matter. You can place upside down, and parallel to the ground. As you wish. The main thing is that the phone should feel the body, be connected with it.

The place does not affect the performance of the device, but can significantly affect the results.

How accurate are the measurements?

It should be noted that at the household level such a device is sufficient. However, when using a telephone pedometer, it must be remembered that the manufacturer rarely cares about high accuracy. Therefore, the measurement error can reach 30%.

In addition, the place on the body where the device is located can affect it. For example, if you put the phone on a cord and hang it on the neck, then the measurement errors will be maximum.

Why is the pedometer showing incorrect values?

The causes of accuracy distortion are many.

Mark only a few:

  • terrain (the most accurate measurements on paved paths),
  • Phone malfunction (e.g. low battery)
  • extraneous activities during classes (conversations and the like),
  • temperature (in hot weather the readings are distorted) and some others.

Pedometer Use Rules

Actually, when using such a pedometer, it is necessary, first of all, to strictly observe the rules of operation of the phone.


  • for more accurate measurements, you need to correctly position the phone with the pedometer installed,
  • observe the temperature regime (+10 - up to -40),
  • instructions included with the software.

Advantages of a pedometer on the phone

The pedometer on the phone compares favorably with other similar devices in its compactness, lack of mechanical parts, and, therefore, care for them, as well as their repair.


  • You can pick up a free application,
  • you can configure it for yourself,
  • wide range of functions
  • the pedometer is always with you.

Concluding the article, it is worth asking one question. Can I use a pedometer, is it harmful? It turns out, no.