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What is a Pedometer with Calorie Counter?

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  • Written By: M.C. Huguelet
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2016
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A pedometer with calorie counter is a small, clip-on device which counts the number of steps taken and approximate number of calories burned by its wearer. It is useful for monitoring one’s progress toward fitness goals. Some health experts warn that a pedometer with calorie counter does not always provide accurate information about calories burned. Others promote the pedometer as a good motivational tool for those who wish to increase their fitness level.

Many sporting goods, watch, and electronics manufacturers sell a version of the pedometer with calorie counter, and as a result, a wide variety of models are available. Most conform to a few basic specifications, however. They normally measure around 2 by 3 inches (5.08 by 7.62 cm) or less, and consist of a digital screen housed in a plastic casing. The pedometer is attached to a belt loop or waistband using a clip located at the device’s rear. Once a wearer has attached and activated the device, its digital screen displays a tally of the steps he has taken and the corresponding number of calories he has burned.

Some health experts caution that a pedometer with calorie counter does not necessarily provide accurate information about the number of calories burned. This false calorie count can occur in pedometers which are overly sensitive, causing them to mistake jostles and bumps for footsteps. Conversely, a pedometer which is not sensitive enough may undercount steps, consequently displaying a calorie readout that is too low.

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Another reason that a pedometer with calorie counter may be inaccurate is that the actual number of calories burned during a workout can vary according to one’s fitness level. Those with a low fitness level tend to burn more calories per footstep than those with a high fitness level. More sophisticated pedometer models may feature a program which allows users to enter information about their fitness level and body type. While these pedometer models may be more expensive than others, they can minimize inaccuracies related to calorie counting.

Whether or not a pedometer with calorie counter provides a completely accurate tally of its user’s steps and burned calories, many fitness experts argue that the device is an excellent motivational tool. Some research has suggested that those who wish to improve their fitness level and opt to wear a pedometer may be likely to take more daily steps than those who wish to become fitter but do not wear the device. Therefore, it may be beneficial to wear a pedometer with calorie counter, but to regard its readings as approximations rather than exact measures.

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