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Topend Sports Newsletter: 16 July 2015

Sports Science Alert (SSA) #024

Step By Step - pedometers

Do you still have a couple of basic pedometers laying around like me, that now seem like antiques? With the constant advancement in technology there are some very fancy fitness tracking gadgets around, although many of them don't do much more than simply counting your steps like the original pedometers. Most count steps to varying degrees of complexity. Not all devices are highly accurate, but they don't necessarily need to be for this rough measure of activity.

The question should be whether counting your steps is even a worthwhile measure of activity. The step count itself doesn't show you how hard each of those steps where - how fast were you stepping or whether you were going uphill. This is where some of the better fitness trackers can actually help. They become a lot more useful if they can measure heart rate, distance traveled and factor intensity and elevation into your activity calculations.

If you just want to count your steps and help motivate yourself to get more active, just a simple step counter is all you need. If you are going to fork out your hard earned cash for a fancy tracker, make sure you are getting useful features, and features that fit the price tag. Also be aware that despite all good intentions, there is a good chance that it will be abandoned after the novelty wears off, and consigned to the bottom drawer next to the old pedometer.


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The Sport Science Alert (SSA) newsletter brings you the latest news in sport, science, fitness and nutrition. Created by Rob Wood of Topend Sports, the ultimate online sport and science resource.

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