Pedometer Instructions and Calibration
Why is this important?
- A regular walking routine can improve insulin sensitivity, blood lipid control and help weight loss.
- Reliable and well-engineered step counter pedometers are reproducibly accurate and used for lower extremity physical activities involving a stepping-motion such as walking, stair-climbing, dancing, hiking, running, ball sports.
- Pedometers are best at measuring step count, less accurate at estimating distance and least accurate at measuring caloric expenditure.
- Pedometer step count is the usual primary outcome measure.
General Classification of pedometer-determined physical activity in healthy adults:
- Under 5000 steps/day is classified as a "sedentary lifestyle index".
- 5,000 – 7,499 steps/day (typical of daily activity, excluding sports and exercise) is considered "low active."
- 7,500 – 9,999 (includes some exercise or walking and/or a job that requires more walking) is considered "somewhat active.”
- 10,000 steps/day is classified as "active."*
- More than 12,500 steps/day is classified as "highly active."
*For those patients who have ambulatory impairment or are significantly obese, the change or improvement in daily step count may be more important than the number of steps per day.
- For example, improving from a baseline of 3,400 steps/day to 7,500 steps per day, or doubling of daily steps, also improves cardiometabolic health.
Individual pedometer step calibration:
- Refer to How to Convert Steps to Miles [PDF - 51KB] for instruction on how to determine an individual’s step count per mile.
- Most adults take 1800 – 2200 steps per mile depending on leg length, height and walking style. The average is about 2000 steps per mile.
How to use a pedometer:
- Clip the pedometer on to your belt or waistband and place over the mid-line of one of your legs or in-line over one of your feet.
- The pedometer must fit snugly to your waist (belt, clothing or undergarment waistband).
- For the pedometer to measure steps accurately, it must be in a vertical or very-near vertical position.