A pedometer is a simple, user-friendly medical device for measuring the number of steps taken. Pedometers are ideally suited to effectively put walking advice into practice.
Walking is possibly the safest and most appropriate form of exercise. It is increasingly recognized that moderate-intensity forms of exercise such as walking tend to have the same health-protective effects as high-intensity forms of exercise such as running.
In general, pedometers are sufficiently valid and reliable in recording steps, although there are significant differences in quality among them. A pedometer should be worn primarily on the belt at hip level. At this location they measure most accurately. It does appear that pedometers are not as good at recording distance traveled and calorie consumption. This is because each step has a different length.
How many steps are customary?
You hear a lot about taking a minimum of 10,000 steps a day. Several step programs have been initiated. A number of pedometers also give separate sound signals at 10,000 steps. There is just no scientific evidence that a minimum of 10,000 steps per day should be taken. Especially since not every target audience can take 10,000 steps. Children, on the other hand, take many more steps.
Over the past 20 years, there has been frequent research that arrives at the following number of steps for each target group:
- 12,000 – 16,000 steps by children aged 8-10 years (girls less than boys);
- 7,000 – 13,000 steps by young adults (women then less than men);
- 6,000 – 8,500 by the elderly
- 3,500 – 5,500 by chronically ill and people with disabilities.