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What Is a Pedometer, and How Do You Use One?

When examining the history and purposes of personal health trackers and devices, one word comes to mind with pedometers: classic. They’ve been around for years and were one of the first health tracking devices ever made. The technology has been updated year by year, but you can’t get any simpler than a pedometer to track your step count.

When examining the history and purposes of personal health trackers and devices, one word comes to mind with pedometers: classic. They’ve been around for years and were one of the first health tracking devices ever made. The technology has been updated year by year, but you can’t get any simpler than a pedometer to track your step count. 

For many people, starting and maintaining an exercise routine, counting calories, and maintaining motivation can be one of life’s most significant stressors. It’s not an uncommon feeling, as new habits can quickly begin to take a toll both mentally and physically. 

That’s why activity trackers, fitness trackers, and personal health devices, specifically pedometers, were invented. When it comes to transforming yourself into a healthier and happier person, these devices are here to help you monitor your physical activity levels so you know where you’re lacking and where you need to up your efforts.  

They really can be helpful data hubs, from tracking your steps to monitoring your heart rate, especially since you have plenty of options when it comes to picking out a personal health tracking device beyond just pedometers. 

Below, you’ll find a guide as simple and easy as a pedometer. Let’s break it down. 

What Is a Pedometer? 

Over 300,000 annual deaths in the U.S. alone are attributed to obesity. It is a true epidemic, and its yearly death toll is close to cancer and other leading causes of death in the United States. 

While it’s not just a problem in the United States, obesity is far more prominent in America than anywhere else. A lot of it has to do with the unhealthy foods that are far too accessible to the general public, but inactivity goes hand-in-hand with that. 

Queue the pedometer. 

Pedometers have one simple purpose: to slash the obesity rate by tracking a person's total number of steps taken daily with a clear-cut step count goal in mind. 

Traditional pedometers are small monitors that you wear around your arm, hip, or waist. They track your hip and foot movement to determine if you’ve taken a step, or are stationary. 

It is not practical nor relatively possible to keep track of your steps throughout the day in your head. Pedometers make this aspect of life a lot easier, and you might be surprised when you look at the total number of steps you've taken during the day or over the course of a single cardio workout. 

We spend a large portion of our day sitting down in the modern era— whether because of working or school. Pedometers have never been more critical as many professions and schools have you sitting for most of the day. With a pedometer, you can see if your number of steps is short of a daily healthy goal. Hopefully, this encourages you to take a break, go for a walk, and get your steps up.  

Everything helps, even something as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Your steps will begin to add up quickly, and you can track all of them thanks to your trusty pedometer. 

Now that we’ve talked about the purpose of a pedometer and what it is, let’s discuss how you can use it to further your personal health goals. 

How Do You Use a Pedometer? 

You might be asking how simply tracking your steps will help with your health goals, but you’d be surprised. Pedometers are a huge help not only physically but mentally. 

Adults should take roughly 10,000 steps daily through walks, runs, and everyday activities. Cleaning your house or apartment or parking at the end of the lot when you go to the grocery store are two simple ways to get some additional exercise. Even getting up and walking around your place of work to take a break is a good way to increase your steps. 

Even if the main objective of your journey isn’t weight loss, the daily 10,000 step goal has so many other benefits, and everyone should follow it. Reaching 10,000 steps daily can lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and overall body mass. 

You might think 10,000 steps sounds like a lot, but it’s not unreasonable. Think about it: if you live roughly half a mile from a grocery store, friend or family member’s house, convenience store, or anything else you might be walking to, that’s around 1,000 steps. 

If you walk there and back, you’re already at 2,000. Add up the steps you’ve taken around the house or work throughout the day, and you’ve already made a massive difference for your health. 

Pedometers are also a huge help mentally. Having a set goal for yourself will motivate you to do more, and challenging yourself to reach the coveted 10,000 steps can be pretty fun. 

You’ll notice the difference as soon as you have a goal in mind. You’ll likely find yourself feeling more confident and motivated than ever before, all because of a simple step goal.

Challenging yourself and setting personal goals with your health is essential, and pedometers make it super easy. 

A daily step goal is also important for children, not just adults. Regular activity for children will help avoid obesity-related illnesses in the future, and it can all be done through step tracking. 

In terms of how to use a pedometer, it will depend entirely on what you have. Many people only use pedometers when exercising, mainly because wearing one all day isn’t necessarily practical or comfortable. 

This discomfort is why many people prefer the smaller, updated versions of wearable health-tracking devices. Plus, these devices can do a lot more than just track your steps. 

This fact shouldn’t dissuade people from buying a pedometer. Still, there are many more efficient (and fashion-forward) ways to track your steps throughout the day, not just during a workout. 

We recognize this problem, and that’s why we’re here to help. 

How Can Circular Help? 

Circular takes the technology used in pedometers, heart rate monitors, sleep tracking devices, and so much more and combines them into a small, sleek ring that you can wear throughout the day and night. It’s a perfect and comfortable accessory that can track everything you need to know about your body, not just your steps. 

From your heart rate to your steps and sleep quality, Circular can tell you exactly what you need to improve your health and what’s working for you. It’s more than a pedometer, and you can turn it off whenever you want. 

Circular uses Bluetooth to send all the information you need straight to your phone for easy and accessible personal health information. With a personalized energy score waiting for you every day, you can see why and how you feel good or get more energy to make it through the day.

The energy score combines everything from your steps to your sleep quality. It is the easiest way to see why you feel the way you feel, whether it’s tired or energized. 

Get on Top of Your Health With Circular

Using personal health tracking devices is an excellent way to keep your mental and physical well-being in tip-top shape. Tracking devices have come a long way, and a pedometer is no longer the only option. 

Circular can help you keep track of your health simply by wearing a ring. If you want to learn more about what Circular offers, click here for a breakdown of how Circular can support your health journey


Obesity and Mortality | WVDHHR

Using Pedometers to Increase Physical Activity and Improve Health: A Systematic Review |  JAMA

Healthy Lifestyle: What is a Pedometer | Seattle Children's Foundation

Edouard Duquesne

Data Scientist at Circular, Edouard is passionate about healthcare and machine learning. His practice of CrossFit and running makes him the best beta tester of the Circular technology.

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