The summer months have finally rolled around and it is time to get outside and soak up that vitamin D! What better way to accomplish this than walking? Did you know, there is wearable technology that can tell you how many steps you’ve taken and encourage you along the way? A recent study found that short-term pedometer-based walking interventions can help older adults to achieve not only sustained increases in physical activity but also important long-term health benefits. These pedometers can assist in goal-setting, self-monitoring, and feedback.

So what are these potentially health-changing devices? Pedometers, or an instrument that estimates the distance traveled on foot by recording the number of steps taken, come in many shapes and sizes. Traditionally, a pedometer is designed to be worn at the waist, but in recent history, pedometers have evolved into wearable technology that can double as a watch. By allowing you to set a personal goal, pedometers provide instant feedback and updates on your progress. Some newer pedometers have additional features that can connect to a smart phone for extra monitoring on items such as sleep tracking, heart rate, and other data analysis.

The single, most important benefit of utilizing one of these gadgets lies in the motivational factor. A paper published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that walkers who used a pedometer completed about 2,000 more steps daily than walkers who did not use one, thus increasing overall physical activity levels. Being able to see progress in the number of steps taken and how far until reaching a goal allows opportunity for motivation.

Here are some other benefits or advantages of pedometers:

  • Easy to use by wearing on wrist or hip
  • Non-invasive
  • Used to measure common activity as well as regular walking
  • Instant feedback

Take some time to decide which pedometer is right for you. The design you prefer will depend on how you are most comfortable wearing it and how often you plan on checking your progress.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there, enjoy the sunshine, and step to your heart’s desire!

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Madison Senior Center and a link back to the original post.