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.