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Guide to Buying the Best Pedometer

Omron HJ-112 pedometerPedometers are everywhere. Your local supermarket possibly even sells several varieties. Amazon.com lists many hundreds of pedometer products. (In fact, of more than two million healthcare products being sold by Amazon.com, a pedometer - the Omron HJ-112 - is one of the most popular.) How do you choose the best pedometer?

Price, accuracy and special features will be the keys for most people. So here are some questions to ask.

Is it accurate?

This is, of course, the key question. No-one wants to buy a pedometer that doesn't give correct readings, no matter how cheap it might be.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to get objective information on this. Check out the user reviews at websites like Amazon.com and you will find that even the best rated models attract complaints that they are not accurate. The suspicion is, of course, that the buyer did not know how to use the device correctly.

A Belgian scientific study of 973 pedometers found that three-quarters were at least 10% inaccurate. (The study, incidentally, used the Yamax Digiwalker as the standard against which the others were measured.)

See Pedometers for Sale - Guide to Resources for links to some independent reviews of pedometers.

What else does it do?

Pedometers are increasingly being bundled with other devices. You can find them with heart rate monitors, with calorie calculators and with training software. There are talking pedometers. And there are models with built-in radios and with panic buttons. Think hard before spending extra on something that seems attractive but might be of just marginal benefit. But at the same time, be aware that for just a little extra you might be able to buy a device with some very handy extra functions.

What does Consumer Reports say?

Consumer Reports is seen as the benchmark of independence. It tested fitness equipment for its February 2009 issue. The Omron HJ-112 was rated the best buy, followed by the Accusplit AE190XLG.

What are users saying?

Amazon.com is the best place to go to see what users are saying about which is the best pedometer. For example, at the time of writing the Omron HJ-11 pedometer had an amazing 2,400 customer reviews (with an even-more-amazing 93% of them four-star or five-star reviews).

Remember, though, that these are not objective reviews. Most of the writers are not in a position to compare models. Nevertheless, they provide a valuable guide to actual user experiences.

What are people buying right now?

Amazon.com's Bestsellers in Pedometers list, updated hourly, is an invaluable resource.

Here are links to reports I've written, summarizing reviews of the most popular pedometers for sale:

Accusplit Pedometer
Freestyle Tracer Pedometer
Nokia 5500 Sport Cell Phone with Pedometer
Omron HJ-105 Pedometer
Omron HJ-112 Premium Pedometer
Omron HJ-720ITC Pocket Pedometer
Omron Pedometers
Oregon Scientific MP121 Waterproof MP3 Player and Pedometer
Oregon Scientific PE316CA Pedometer
Oregon Scientific Pedometer
Sony Ericsson W710 Walkman Cell Phone with Pedometer
Sony Network Walkman with Pedometer
Sportline Pedometer
Strollometer
Yamax Pedometer

December 11th, 2009

 

 

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