UHC Advice: Using a Pedometer or Step Counter

For most people, walking is an easy and low-cost way to get moving and stay fit. Using a pedometer or step counter can help you track the number of steps you take each day. Then you can set goals to take more steps and be more active.

Key points

  • Using a pedometer or step counter is an easy and fun way to track how active you are. It adds up all the steps you take during the day.
  • Using a pedometer can remind you to walk more. A quick check may show that you need more steps for the day.
  • Using a pedometer can help you set goals to take more steps in a day. You may need to find creative ways to add more steps, but walking more will help you get more exercise, feel better, and stay healthy

Why use a pedometer? Making a point to take a few extra steps during the day can really add up. Experts say that to stay fit, it is important to be physically active for at least 2½ hours a week. Walking is one of the best things you can do to be more active. You don’t have to do your walking all at once. You can split it up. It’s fine to walk in spurts of 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week.

Some people prefer to let a pedometer count how many steps they walk, rather than trying to keep track of how many minutes they walk. Then you can focus on enjoying your walks rather than on adding up minutes during the day.

Many people have a hard time remembering to exercise. Using a pedometer can remind you to exercise more. You can wear a pedometer all day to keep track of your total steps. When you go for a walking workout, you can easily see how many steps you have added to your routine. A quick check may show that you need more steps for the day. You may even find it fun to add more steps to such chores and errands as grocery shopping or returning a book to the library.

People are often surprised to see how little they actually move in a typical day. Wearing a step counter will let you see just how active you are. This may spur you to add more steps to your day. Studies show that people who used a pedometer were more likely to add about 2,000 steps to the number they walked each day before using a pedometer.

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