The pedometer industry has grown over the years and consumers have a large variety of devices to choose from. So which one is best for you? That depends on a few factors like; how much you want to spend, how many functions you need, and how you want to attach the device to your person.
First, we all have some kind of fitness tracker on our smartphone that is very probably recording all our steps whether we “asked” it to or not. There are also a plethora of phone-based fitness apps available. These apps, though, use up a lot of your phone battery while tracking your movements. Additionally, research from 2018 concluded that many of these apps are less accurate than a separate pedometer device – plus you have to remember to carry your phone with you absolutely everywhere.
From my own experience, I can attest that the data collected from the Strava workout app on my phone is always slightly different than that which is recorded by my smartwatch though I couldn’t say precisely which is more accurate. If you want to test your app or your pedometer set it to zero then count out a hundred steps as you walk. Your tracking device should be within five steps of that hundred.
3D FitBud Simple Step Counter3DFitBud Simple Step Counter Walking 3D Pedometer with Clip and Lanyard3DActiveamazon.com$24.99Shop Now
If all you want is a simple, no-frills, easy-to-use pedometer that counts your steps – and only your steps – the 3D FitBud is for you.
With advanced 3D tri-axis sensor technology, the FitBud accurately records your walks no matter where the device is on your person (or in your bag). The large display takes up the full screen and the included lithium-ion battery lasts up to twelve months. The FitBud records your steps until you hit the (one) reset button. Many people hit reset after a day, some after a week. The FitBud doesn’t save your data after you reset it, so, if you want to keep a running log of your step activity, you’ll have to record that elsewhere.
PINGKO Outdoor Multi-Function Portable Sport PedometerPINGKO Best Pedometer for WalkingPINGKOamazon.com$10.99Shop Now
The small, inexpensive Pingko clip-on pedometer tracks your steps and records distance traveled and calories burned. With no need for a smartphone or connected app, the replaceable battery lasts for up to twelve months. If you want an unobtrusive, compact, accurate (mount close to your waist, arm, or leg) step counting device for a low price, consider the Pingko.
Like the FitBud it does not store your step counts after you push the reset button.
Realalt 3DTriSport Walking 3D Pedometer3DTriSport Walking 3D PedometerRealaltamazon.com$24.99Shop Now
If you want a non-app-based pedometer that tracks your data in a more detailed way, Realalt’s 3D TriSport records distance, steps, and calories burned daily and maintains a 30-day log of your activity so you can check in on your progress each month.
It has a large, clear display with a built-in clock and steps goal.
Fitbit Inspire 2Inspire 2 Health & Fitness TrackerFitbit Inspire 2 Health & Fitness Tracker with a Free 1-Year Fitbit PremiumFitBitAmazonShop Now
The Inspire 2 is a slim wrist-worn fitness tracker that also monitors your heart rate and sleep activity. The 24/7 heart rate tracker helps to better determine how many calories you burn in a given activity as well as record your sleep stages. Data is collected and sent to your phone through the companion app. The included one-year premium Fitbit membership provides workouts and programs to improve your nutrition, sleep habits, and overall fitness.
If you don’t mind wearing a watch at all times and you want an overall picture of your fitness and sleep habits, the Inspire 2 is an excellent choice. And the battery lasts up to ten days which is an important feature for people (like me) who really can’t remember to charge yet another device daily.
Garmin Vivoactive 4SGarmin Vivoactive 4S GPS Smartwatch with Music & Fitness Activity Tracker & Health Monitor AppsGarminamazon.com$247.90Shop Now
If you want a fitness tracker/pedometer with its own built-in GPS, as well as other features like music storage, smart notifications, and the ability to pay for your coffee or after workout vitamin water without bringing along your phone, the Garmin Vivoactive has you covered.
With Pulse OX to measure your blood oxygen levels and a “Body Battery” monitor, the Vivoactive keeps track of things like respiration, menstrual cycles, stress levels, hydration, sleep, and more. You can also watch animated workouts right on the watch screen. In GPS and music mode, the battery lasts about five hours while in standard smartwatch mode one charge can last for up to seven days.
As a cyclist, I’ve used Garmin GPS products for years. Having manufactured some of the first bike tracking devices, “Garmin” is used by many people in the cycling community as the catch-all name for almost any bike computer (I routinely hear people refer to their Wahoo Roams as Garmins).
Every Garmin I’ve ever owned has moments of bugginess (such as putting my location in the East River occasionally or recording a speed of 334 miles per hour for three seconds) but all in all, they’re well-functioning devices with loads of features. As long as you remember to charge them.
Bellabeat Leaf Health TrackerBellabeat Leaf Urban Smart Jewelry Health TrackerBellabeatamazon.com$96.30Shop Now
This tracker is an app-based pedometer wrapped in an attractive jewelry-like package. While no data is displayed on the device itself, the Bellebeat Leaf monitors your activities, sleep and menstrual cycles, and stress sensitivity. Powered by a coin cell battery that lasts for up to six months, the Bellebeat Leaf wirelessly syncs to your phone by double-tapping. You don’t need your phone with you to track your activities though.More Shopping
Manufactured from all-natural materials including hypoallergenic stainless steel, the Leaf can be worn as a necklace, bracelet, or clip.
If one of your New Year’s goals is to be healthier and get more exercise, a pedometer may be just the thing to help you achieve this. Movement, after all, is essential for human health and well-being and all of us could likely benefit from more of that in our lives.