Consumer Reports tests pedometers for accuracy


A pedometer has helped John Hvisch count nearly every step he's taken while exercising for the last 25 years.

"It keeps me going. It keeps me really going, I'm telling you. Look at me, look at my age. I'm 86, and I just love it. I just love to walk," Hvisch said.

He's on the right track. A Stanford University study reported that people who use a pedometer walk about a mile more every day than those who don't use one.

If you're ready to take the first step, which pedometer should you get?

Consumer Reports' tests of 10 conventional pedometers, three cell phone apps, and three GPS watches narrow down your choices.

After logging close to 100 outdoor miles, counting more than 120,000 steps on a treadmill and climbing nearly 3,000 stairs, testers found several to recommend. The most elaborate are GPS watches.

"GPS watches use satellites to measure distance, so they're highly accurate outdoors. But for $200 to $300, they might be more than a typical walker really needs," said Jamie Hirsh with Consumer Reports.

For a mere fraction of the cost, consider a conventional pedometer, which clips right onto your waistband.

The Mio Trace Pedometer is top rated. It costs $30, is easy to use and rated excellent for accuracy. It also has added features like a calorie counter, a stopwatch, and a regular watch.

Or, spend just $5 on this basic Sportline Step and Distance from Walmart, which rated very good for accuracy.

Either can put you on the road to better health.

If you're wondering about a cell phone app, Consumer Reports says two rated very good for accuracy, and they're easy to use.

For Android phones, try the Accupedo Pedometer Widget. If you have an iPhone, testers liked the Pedometer PRO GPS plus. These both go for about $4.

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