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Many Pedometers Inaccurate at Slower Paces

Every step counts on the journey to better health. If your clients rely on pedometers to gauge activity, you may want to double-check their accuracy—especially if the clients are slow walkers.

A study in the August 2004 issue of Preventive Medicine (2004; 39 [2], 361–68), examined the effects of age, obesity and self-selected walking speed on pedometer accuracy. Subjects walked on a treadmill wearing various pedometers. When the pace was slower than 2 miles per hour, researchers found that the pedometers had an accuracy rate of only 71%. When the pace quickened to 3 miles per hour, the overall accuracy of the pedometers jumped to 96%. The researchers recommend a more sensitive pedometer for those who “ambulate at slower walking speeds.”

The website www.pedometers.com offers scientific reviews.

Joy Keller

Joy Keller is the director of marketing communications & PR at IDEA, and has also served as executive editor of IDEA Fitness Journal, IDEA Fitness Manager, IDEA Pilates Today, and IDEA Fit Business Success. She is also a certified personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor and yoga teacher (RYT 200).

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