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A pedometer is a small device people can wear to count the steps they take every day. Wearing one can encourage a person to move more, allow them to track their progress, and set attainable goals.

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A pedometer is a small device that counts a person’s steps. Typically, a person attaches a pedometer to their clothing, but they may also choose one they can wear on the wrist or around the neck.

Using a pedometer can encourage a person to be more active and allow for fitness tracking and goal management.

Recent increases in pedometer and fitness tracker features allow more detailed fitness and health information across a wide variety of activities.

This article looks at the benefits of step counting with a pedometer and lists nine highly rated pedometers a person can consider.

A pedometer can help with a person’s motivation, which could in turn affect daily activity levels and improve health.

Participants of a 2019 workplace study stated that pedometers helped them improve their physical activity levels. However, it is important to note the study did not have many participants, and the researchers followed them over a relatively short period.

Another 2019 study suggests that short-term, pedometer-specific physical activity programs may provide long-term health benefits.

Research also indicates that taking more steps in a day can reduce anxiety, depression, fatigue, and anger levels, in addition to lowering body weight.

The results of a review of studies suggest that walking even just 1,000 more steps per day may lower overall mortality.

Learn about different types of step trackers here.

When shopping for a pedometer, a person may consider looking for accuracy, an easy-to-read display, and a user-friendly interface.

Depending on the amount of data a person would like to access from their pedometer, they may also wish to consider a range of features, such as:

  • activity duration
  • heart rate
  • calories burned
  • workout effectiveness
  • blood oxygen levels
  • recovery assistance
  • fueling suggestions
  • workout plans
  • breakdowns of specific activities during workout sessions

A pedometer should be accurate and in line with an individual’s needs and budget.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for clear display: 3DFitBud Simple Step Counter

3DActive sells a range of fitness-related products, including resistance bands and pedometers.

This small step counter is available in three colors and features a clear display with large-font text. It is an easy-to-use product a person can use right away once unboxed.

The company says it contains a 3D Tri-Axis sensor for accuracy, and people can wear it in any position to record steps. A built-in clip allows individuals to attach it to their clothes.

It also features a long lasting battery that goes to sleep when not in use to conserve power.

The 3DFitBud costs around $25 and is available to purchase online.

Best on a budget: Realalt 3DTriSport Walking 3D Pedometer

Realalt is based in the United Kingdom and offers two different pedometers. Its products are inexpensive and easy to use.

The pedometer features a large display and a battery life of up to 12 months. It is available in five colors.

The company says this pedometer is easy to use and has a built-in 3D Tri-Axis sensor to record step count accurately. A person can choose to view their distance statistics in miles or kilometers.

The tracker also provides other information, such as calories burned and exercise time. It can store up to 30 days of step count records thanks to its onboard memory.

This device costs around $25 and is available to purchase online.

Best lightweight: Omron HJ325 Alvita Pedometer

Omron is a trusted brand in the health product space. It sells a variety of health-related items, including blood pressure monitors and pedometers.

This Omron pedometer has three buttons, each with a helpful visual icon for easy reference. It records step count, calories burned, and distance walked.

According to the company, people can view up to 7 days of recorded information using the product’s memory function. It is also ultralight, weighing 0.8 ounces.

This pedometer is available to purchase online for around $95.

Best affordable all-rounder: Fitbit Inspire 2

Fitbit is an established brand in health and wellness. Its trackers may best suit people who want to keep close tabs on their health statistics and want an intuitive app and user interface experience.

The Fitbit: Health & Fitness app is available to download for free from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

According to Fitbit, this wrist-based device measures activity minutes, steps, calories burned, and heart rate. It lasts up to 10 days on a single charge. It also tracks sleep and is swim-proof.

The Fitbit Inspire 2 is available to purchase online for around $85.

Best for long battery life: iTouch Wearables Slim Waterproof Fitness Activity Tracker

The iTouch Activity Tracker counts:

  • calories burned
  • steps taken
  • heart rate
  • sleep duration

The tracker offers multiple sports modes, including running, swimming, football, basketball, soccer, tennis, cycling, and hiking. It can also keep track of a person’s blood oxygen levels and is waterproof up to 10 meters.

To see their data, a person needs to sync their activity tracker with the iTouch Wearables app at least once per day.

They may also benefit from the sedentary reminder alert that prompts an individual between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to move if they have been still for long periods.

The manufacturer states the battery can last for up to 30 days, depending on usage.

Additional features include an alarm, a stopwatch, a camera remote, and Bluetooth connectivity.

The iTouch Wearables Slim Waterproof Fitness Activity Tracker is available to purchase online for around $75.

Best for simple operation: iGANK Simple Walking Pedometer Step Counter

This is a small and lightweight wearable pedometer, with a screen size of 1.6 inches and an overall weight of 14 grams.

A person can wear this pedometer on the lanyard included with the device, clip it onto a belt, or place it in a pocket.

Individuals can track their daily steps up to 99,999, with a simple one-button reset. The pedometer’s ultrasimple design makes it suitable for children or those wanting an accurate pedometer with a simple interface.

The product has no extra features that often come with smartwatches or activity trackers.

The company states that this product has a 2-year guarantee and that its battery can last up to 12 months.

The iGANK Simple Walking Pedometer Step Counter is available to purchase online for around $18.

Best stylish design: Bellabeat Leaf Urban Smart Jewelry Health Tracker

This tracker features a unique, jewelry-like design that a person can easily integrate with their everyday style by wearing it as a necklace, bracelet, or clip.

The Bellabeat Leaf Health Tracker does not feature a display or buttons. A person’s data are accessible through the Bellabeat app, which is available on Google Play and the Apple App Store. It also connects to Google Fit and Apple Health.

This device tracks a person’s activity levels, including the activity type, steps, distance moved, and calories burned. Extra features include monitoring for sleep patterns, reproductive health, stress, and meditation, with over 30 in-app meditation exercises included.

This tracker is non-rechargeable and requires a coin cell battery that a person must replace when the current one runs out.

The Bellabeat Leaf Urban Smart Jewelry Health Tracker is available to purchase online for around $100.

Best for kids: Garmin vivofit jr. 2

The Garmin vivofit jr. 2 helps kids stay active with an interactive experience on the Garmin jr. app that takes them on a virtual world tour as they exercise.

Individuals can unlock educational content about famous locations around the world, and the device offers scrapbook pictures from their virtual travels as rewards for meeting activity goals.

Children can learn a range of exercises with fitness training cards that coach them through routines, such as jumping jacks and mountain climbers. This model is also swim-friendly.

By doing 60-minute activities each day, individuals can also unlock mini games.

Parents and caregivers can control the Garmin jr. app that includes a “chores and rewards” feature and the ability to input emergency contact information.

This activity tracker is available in a wide range of colors and designs, including those from popular movie franchises.

The battery is non-rechargeable and needs replacing when it gives out.

The Garmin vivofit jr. 2 is available to purchase online for around $70.

Best for workout optimization: Polar Grit X Outdoor Watch

This multisport watch can record detailed tracking data and has workout features that help a person plan their exercises, understand their performance, and stay on track during a session.

Individuals can import routes from komoot, a biking and hiking route app, into the Polar Grit X watch, and its GPS functionality helps users stay en route during outdoor trails.

Trackers include heart rate, calories burned, hill climb and descent performance, sleep, and running power. It can also detect swimming style, distance, pace, and strokes for both indoor and outdoor swimming.

The watch shows a 2-day weather forecast to help a person plan their next outdoor exercise session and helps them optimize their workouts with training guides.

The company claims the watch can withstand extreme temperatures, drops, and humidity. It also states the battery lasts up to 40 hours in training mode and up to 7 days in watch mode with heart tracking.

The Polar Grit X Outdoor Watch is available to purchase online for around $430.

In the table below, we compare the products featured in this article.

PriceTrackersBattery lifeWearable
3DFitBud Simple Step Counteraround $25step counter• non-chargeable lithium battery
• user-replaceable
• neck
• belt
• pocket
• bag
Realalt 3DTriSport Walking 3D Pedometeraround $25step counter• 8,760 hours
• non-chargeable lithium battery
• user-replaceable
• lanyard
• belt
• pocket
• bag
Omron HJ325 Alvita Pedometeraround $95• step counter
• calories burned
• aerobic steps
• distance traveled
• non-chargeable lithium battery
• user-replaceable
• lanyard
• clip onto clothes
Fitbit Inspire 2around $85• active minutes
• heart rate
• cardio fitness level
• 20 exercise modes
• calories burned
• stress management
• skin temperature
• breathing rate
• menstrual cycle
• daily readiness tracking
• movement prompts
up to 10 dayswrist
iTouch Wearables Slim Waterproof Fitness Activity Trackeraround $75• steps
• calories
• heart rate
• sleep
• multiple sports
• movement prompting
up to 30 dayswrist
iGANK Simple Walking Pedometer Step Counteraround $18step counter• 8,760 hours
• non-chargeable CR2302 battery
• user-replaceable
• lanyard
• belt
• pocket
• bag
Bellabeat Leaf Urban Smart Jewelry Health Trackeraround $100• activity
• sleep
• menstrual cycle
• stress
• movement prompts
• 6 months
• non-chargeable
• user-replaceable
as a bracelet, necklace, or clip
Garmin vivofit jr. 2around $70• step counter
• daily activity
• sleep
• chore and homework tracker
• 1 year
• non-rechargeable lithium battery
• user-replaceable
wrist
Polar Grit X Outdoor Watcharound $430• route planning
• heart rate
• calories burned
• running training plan
• running VO2max
• recovery
• refueling advice
• uphill and downhill performance
• weather
• sleep
• running power
• 130 sport profiles
40 hours to 7 dayswrist

Below, we answer some common questions about pedometers.

What is the most accurate pedometer?

For a pedometer to accurately count steps, it needs to be sensitive enough to register movement from the hips and legs. There are two common types of pedometer: spring-levered and piezoelectric.

Piezoelectric pedometers are typically more sensitive and, as a result, may be more accurate. Spring-levered pedometers may be less accurate, depending on the position individuals use them in.

Another device that records human movement is an accelerometer. A 2016 study compared accelerometers and piezoelectric pedometers. It found the piezoelectric pedometer to be more accurate in counting steps when worn on either side of the body at the waist, such as on a wrist or in an inside trouser pocket.

More expensive devices with extra tracking features and more advanced technology, such as smartwatches and activity trackers, may have higher accuracy than a stand-alone pedometer, but there is limited current and reliable research comparing the two.

Is a pedometer more accurate than a Fitbit?

A small 2018 study found that a Fitbit was less accurate at counting steps than a low-cost pedometer.

The study looked at how accurate and easy to use commercial activity monitors were for older adults. It found limitations in step counting accuracy and usability in some current activity monitors. It also found that none of the activity monitors accurately track speed.

A Fitbit may be more advanced in health tracking areas other than step counting, but reliable research is limited.

What is the best inexpensive pedometer?

The best inexpensive pedometer in this article is the 3DFitBud Simple Step Counter. It has a simple set-up process and a clear screen.

It also features a 3D Tri-Axis sensor to ensure accurate step counts. According to the manufacturer, this sensor means a person can wear it in any position or keep it in their pocket, bag, or purse and still register accurate data.

For individuals looking for smart features, such as extra health tracking and comprehensive data, costs may significantly increase.

If a person needs some encouragement to move more during the day, a pedometer might provide motivation.

A quality pedometer can provide an accurate step count and help people track and reach their movement goals. More advanced fitness trackers can provide detailed health and fitness information, such as heart rate or distance traveled.

Before committing to a purchase, a person should consider the features they would like, as some devices offer only basic step counts, while others offer advanced insights.

A person with an existing health condition may consider consulting a doctor before starting a new fitness regimen.

Please note: Medical News Today does not imply warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or endorse mobile applications. The apps featured in this article have not been evaluated for medical accuracy by Medical News Today. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved them unless otherwise indicated.