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Step trackers, which some people may call pedometers, monitor the number of steps a person takes during the day. These may help people keep an eye on their activity levels.
In this article, we look at step trackers in more detail and provide a list of step tracker apps that people may find useful.
In their most basic form, step trackers track the number of steps a person takes. However, many step trackers come as an extra feature of fitness tracker devices, which also monitor calorie intake, heart rate, and workouts.
A person can purchase a step tracker as a stand-alone device. Alternatively, they may consider downloading it as an app on their mobile device or smart watch.
A review highlights a number of benefits of step counting and step trackers, including:
- measuring a person’s physical activity
- potentially increasing activity in previously inactive people
- improving a person’s motivation
- being easy to use
A 2020 study suggests that adults who walk 8,000 or more steps a day have a lower risk of death from a number of diseases compared with those walking 4,000 steps a day.
There is little scientific research exploring the risks of step trackers. However, anecdotal evidence suggests some people stopped using it due to obsessive checking and goal-setting.
There is also some evidence showing that pedometers may not be accurate. In a 2017 study examining the accuracy of four brands of pedometers, researchers concluded that three of the four pedometers underestimated the number of steps a participant took.
Additionally, if a person is new to exercising or has underlying health conditions that may affect their breathing, they should ease themselves into longer periods of exercise.
A person can use a step-tracking app or pedometer app on their cell phone or smart watch.
Once a person downloads the app, their cell phone or watch will track the number of steps they take. The app may also generate graphs and statistics relating to a person’s physical activity. This allows a person to monitor their level of activity in greater detail.
Alternatively, separate gadgets designed specifically for step and fitness tracking are also available.
Many devices and apps that can help a person track their steps are available. Below, we list six products that people may wish to try.
Please note that no one at Medical News Today, including the writer, has tested these products. All information is research-based.
This device comes in a range of colors. It is easy to set up, which makes it suitable for children, adults, and older adults.
A person can clip this small device to their pocket, wear it around their neck, or place it in their bag.
In addition to tracking steps, it gives information about covered distance and burned calories. It also allows a person to set daily step goals.
Fitbit Ace Activity Tracker
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise that children aged 6–17 years should engage in at least an hour of exercise each day.
This Fitbit Ace Activity Tracker is suitable for children aged 6 and above. As well as tracking steps, it tracks sleep, includes a 1-hour active goal, and sends reminders to encourage the child to move.
It also has parental controls and a parent view, allowing parents and caregivers to monitor their child’s activity.
OZO Fitness SC2 Digital Pedometer
This step tracker is likely to be well-suited for older adults.
It has a large display screen, and a person can clip it onto their belt or pocket.
This device tells a person how many steps they have taken, the distance they have walked, and the number of calories they have burned during the day.
Unlike other devices in this list, this step tracker does not have any other features, making it quite simple to use and understand.
If a person does not want to purchase a separate device to track their fitness and steps, they may consider using an app on their cell phone.
The Pacer app is available for Apple and Android users. It is a free app that counts steps and also tracks calories burned, distance traveled, and the amount of time a person has been active.
It also provides daily fitness plans, trend displays, and video guided workouts.
Map My Walk
This app gives statistics and feedback to help people improve their performance. It also provides new routes.
Instead of tracking steps, this app tracks distance, duration, and pace. This can help people who want to become regular walkers or runners to improve.
The app is free. However, there is an option to pay a monthly or yearly subscription to access premium content, such as personal training plans and no advertisements.
Smart watches have become a popular device for people to track not only their steps but also their general fitness.
Depending on the product, it can also monitor heart rate and track sleep. Additionally, some can connect to people’s mobile devices, allowing them to receive texts, emails, and calls to their smart watch.
A person may consider purchasing a step tracker to monitor and increase their physical activity.
Depending on what a person is looking for, they may consider a step-tracking app or device. Alternatively, they may consider devices that track general fitness, such as a smart watch.