What is a pedometer and why should I use one?
A pedometer is a small gadget used for counting the number of steps you take. Pedometers are also sometimes called step counters or stepometers. The name pedometer comes from the Latin words "ped" meaning "foot" or "on foot", and "meter" meaning to measure.
Counting steps for better health – setting your target
Whatever your age and ability, it is never too late to start being more active! On average, people take 2,000-5,000 steps per day without doing any extra activity - this includes everyday actions such as making a cup of tea or doing the housework. For most adults, the recommended amount of physical activity to benefit health is 30 minutes of moderate activity (i.e. brisk walking) on most days of the week. For the majority of people, 30 minutes of walking is about 3,000 steps. A good way to use a pedometer is to start by working out how many steps you do in a typical day - this is known as your Baseline Step Count. You may want to record your steps for a few days over the week and then work out your average. Once you have found your Baseline Step Count, you should aim to increase this figure by 3,000 steps. Everyone is unique and takes a different amount of steps over the day, so it is important to focus on what you do and set a target that is appropriate for you.
Target = Baseline Step Count + 3,000 steps
Download a Daily Step Count Card.
Ways to increase your step count
Walking can be easily incorporated into daily life through small changes in your lifestyle. Here are some suggestions: