Content of the material
- What Is A Pedometer/Step Counter?
- The Wet Foot Walk Method
- Inside a mechanical pedometer
- Estimate Stride Length by Height
- Using an iPhone as a pedometer
- Using Pedometer++ to track your step count
- Benefits Of Having A Pedometer
- Pedometers Are Great Motivators
- A Pedometer Will Offer A Realistic Baseline
- Pedometers Will Improve The Activity Levels
- A Pedometer Will Restore Your Health
What Is A Pedometer/Step Counter?
Pedometers are convenient, small electronic devices. They are user-friendly and are made for keeping track of how many steps you do every day.
They first appeared in the United States, in the 1990s and their popularity have grown over the years. Nowadays, a pedometer will allow a person to keep score of the number of calories they have burned, calculate the progress they have made and of course, set a goal for exercising each day.(Check Out Our : Best Yoga Mat Reviews 2022)
The Wet Foot Walk Method
Rob Sweetgall of Creative Walking, Inc. touts this method of measuring step length to set your pedometer.
- Create a puddle of water on a stretch of sidewalk or street where you can be walking your natural speed before and after you reach it.
- Start walking at your natural pace and walk through the water. Keep walking naturally for about 10 more steps.
- Now measure the distance from the heel of your left footprint to the heel of your right footprint on several of the wet footprints and average them.
- If your pedometer is set in feet, divide the inches by 12 to get feet. Step length in inches divided by 12 inches equals your step length in feet.
Inside a mechanical pedometer
Artwork: From US Patent #758,405: Pedometer by Otto Bartel and Edmond Kuhn, courtesy of US Patent and Trademark Office.
Inexpensive modern pedometers are partly mechanical (they register steps using a swinging pendulum) and partly electronic (they use microchips to count the steps that the pendulum detects); early pedometers were entirely mechanical—so how did they work? Here’s a drawing of the inside of a typical pedometer dating from a century ago. It was invented around 1903 by Otto Bartel of New York City and Edmond Kuhn of East Orange New Jersey and patented on April 26, 1904. I’ve colored the drawing and simplified the labeling so you can see how it worked:
- A pointer and scale at the top helps you adjust the pendulum accurately.
- A weight (red) at the end of the pendulum (blue) ensures it swings back and forth by a measurable amount.
- The pendulum swings as you walk. On this diagram, the pendulum would move up and down but, in reality, it would hang downward way and swing from side to side.
- The swinging pendulum turns various gears (green), advancing a pointer that indicates your step count (not shown).
- A spring keeps the pendulum tight. The spring is part of the adjustment mechanism for different step sizes.
- The pendulum swings about this pivot (purple).
- This large screw is also part of the adjustment/regulation mechanism for different step sizes.
Estimate Stride Length by Height
When you use your height to determine your stride length, you get a rough estimate that isn't personalized. However, it can be useful to check your results by the other methods. It is the method used in the automatic settings of many pedometers and activity trackers:
- Females: Your height in inches multiplied by 0.413 equals your stride length
- Males: Your height in inches multiplied by 0.415 equals your stride length
Using an iPhone as a pedometer
The good news is, if you’re using an iPhone 5s or newer, you do have that tiny chip embedded in your device, and you pretty much have nothing to do but start walking or running to effectively use your iPhone as a step counter. The trick here is not to have your iPhone act as a pedometer, because it already does. The trick is to find out how you can get access to that step count, and more.
There are a couple of ways to keep track of your step count on your iPhone. The first one is to use Apple’s own Health application. The second option is to use a third-party application from the App Store. We’ll go over both options.
Using Pedometer++ to track your step count
Before owning an Apple Watch and keeping count of steps directly from it, I used Pedometer++, a free download from the App Store, and admittedly one of the best pedometer apps for iPhone. It is free, simple, and to the point, which I particularly appreciate.
Specifically, my favorite feature of Pedometer++ is how it displays step data in a very clear fashion using a bar graph. The tallest the bar, the more steps you have. And unlike Apple’s Health app, it clearly shows how many steps you’ve been walking each day, something you have to hunt down when you use the Health app.
Pedometer++ also lets you set up a daily step goal. If you’re far below the step goal, your bar will show in red. It will turn orange if you get closer, and green once you’ve reached the goal.
Still, Pedometer++ is not perfect. I find it to often report step data much higher than what Apple reports in the Health app. I don’t want to argue Apple’s tracking is better than Pedometer++’s, but as a conservative measure, I like to base my daily step goal of 10,000 steps on Apple’s own data.
As an example based on the screenshots used in this post, you can see that the Health app reports 2,393 steps for me so far today, while Pedometer++ reports 2,645. That’s a 10% difference! At the end of the day, it might not be a big deal to you if all you’re looking for is a rough estimates of your walking steps.
To be completely fair, Pedometer++’s developer David Smith explains on his blog that he believes Apple way of counting steps when the user has both an iPhone and an Apple Watch may be skewed, which could be the reason why I am seeing some discrepancy in the data being reported. If Smith uses the same motion coprocessor to get the raw data as the Health app uses, he actually tweaks this data with his own algorithm when he detects an Apple Watch is being used in conjunction with an iPhone to track step count. Still, I put a little more trust in Apple’s army of engineers, and again, I’d rather be conservative when it comes to my step count.
There is a plethora of similar applications in the App Store, including Runtastic Pedometer Step Counter, and Steps Pedometer & Step Counter, so if Pedometer++ doesn’t seem to work well for you, you might want to try something else.
Benefits Of Having A Pedometer
Pedometers Are Great Motivators
Whether you choose to turn walking into a family activity in which all members can take part, or just want to be able to set a clear score for yourself, a pedometer will do the trick.
As the saying goes "seeing is believing." By being able to keep count of how many steps you've taken today and being very aware of the target, you will boost your self-esteem, and you will have the courage to face a new challenge.
Pedometers are devices that can increase the competitivity level of a group or a family. By comparing data from various members, you can turn this form of exercising into a group activity, which makes it more fun and entertaining.
A Pedometer Will Offer A Realistic Baseline
At first, when you buy a pedometer, you should wear it normally and just see the number of steps you take every day, without setting a goal. This will help you get a clearer image of the level of activity you do every single day.
El Paso Independent School District put together a chart that offers information based on various activity levels. For example, if you walk up to 5000 steps per day, the chart categorizes you as a "not very active" individual. If the number of steps raises to 7500, you fall into the "low active" section. If you accomplish the 10.000 range, the results say that you are a "somewhat active" person. Over 12.500 steps daily will grant you the title of "a highly active" person.
Pedometers Will Improve The Activity Levels
The Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports sustain that by using a pedometer, a person will be more determined to increase the number of steps taken daily, somewhere between 1.800 and 4.500 steps. This figure actually means that if you achieve the number of steps, you walk around 1 to 2.25 miles per day.
A study developed by the University of Minnesota reveals that by using a pedometer, you will be determined to walk more. The study divided the people into two groups. The first group received a pedometer, and the results have shown that the people increased the number of steps by 30%, compared to the second group that didn't receive a pedometer.
A Pedometer Will Restore Your Health
By motivating you to keep walking, you will lose weight, get in shape and have a healthier body. Through exercise, the blood pressure decreases, which leads to a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases. At the same time, diabetics improve their insulin levels by losing the extra weight. Also, the presence of a pedometer will determine its user to keep going and thus, to pay more attention to his goals.
Missing leg days and thinking that they are not that important is a huge mistake. The muscles of your legs are the vital part of your locomotor apparatus, so it is essential to focus on their growth and development, when you increase your upper body weight. If you are wondering “how long does it take to tone legs?”, as you want to do it as fast as possible, so that they would catch up with the rapid development of your torso, this article can be of great help for you. Follow all the above-stated tips and you will be able to reach your goal in approximately three months. If you don’t feel like drastically changing your exercising routine, and focusing only on your legs right now, you can gradually incorporate the before-mentioned techniques and tricks into your training and everyday life. Even a slight change will bring about significant results as time passes. However, be sure to check with your doctor or personal trainer, before you make any adjustments to your workout.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!