Top Computer-Linked Pedometers

Keep track of your walking steps, distance, calories burned and other data with these pedometers that can be downloaded to your computer or to a personal web site. While many also link to an app via Bluetooth, there are still people who don't have a compatible smartphone to sync their data that way. You can view data charts and graphs and see how you are progressing to your goals. They may have interactive features to connect with other users or experts, and may or may not charge a subscription fee.


Fitbit Zip - One- Flex - Charge - Aria - Charge HR - Surge
Fitbit Zip - One- Flex - Charge - Aria - Charge HR - Surge. Fitbit

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You can sync any model of Fitbit with either Mac or PC computer and with mobile apps for iOS and Android. Fitbit works completely wirelessly and automatically via a USB dongle you leave plugged into your computer. Whenever you are a few feet from your computer, it automatically syncs your data to the Fitbit web site. You can also sync your data via Bluetooth 4.0 to the mobile app. Online and on the app you can track you steps, calories burned, log your calories eaten, and share the info with friends. Best of all, there is no additional fee to use the web site, it's included in the price of the sensor. The Fitbit One, Flex, Charge, Charge HR and Surge also track your sleep quality.

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Garmin vivofit

Garmin Vivofit
Garmin Vivofit. Garmin

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The vivofit fitness band can sync with either PC or Mac via an ANT stick, and also will sync with a smartphone app via Bluetooth Smart. It tracks steps, distance and all-day calories burned and also displays the time of day and date as a pedometer watch. If you want to reduce your sitting time, the vivofit starts alerting you after an hour of inactivity with a growing red Move Bar. You can track your sleep as well as you activity. It will also connect with an optional ANT heart rate monitor chest strap to display your heart rate. Best of all, its battery lasts for a year so there is no annoying recharging to deal with. On your Garmin Connect online dashboard you can view your stats, see badges earned for your achievements, connect with other users and track your diet via MyFitnessPal.

Polar Loop

Polar Loop
Polar Loop. Courtesy of Pricegrabber
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This wristband pedometer watch tracks steps, calories and your progress towards a daily activity goal. You can also link it with a Bluetooth Polar heart rate monitor strap to track workouts and view your heart rate on the Loop band. Sync your data to PC or Mac computers with a custom USB cable, or via Bluetooth Smart with an iOS app. It also has inactivity alerts if you've been sitting for an hour, and tracks your sleep time. Online and on the app you can see minute by minute details of your activity intensity for each day, with daily, weekly and monthly activity totals. More »

Nike+ FuelBand

Nike+ FuelBand
Nike+ FuelBand. Wendy Bumgardner © 2012

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I was rarely achieving enough steps per day during the work week until I put on the Nike+ FuelBand. Since I clasped it to my wrist, I made that goal every single day. I did a lot of hallway walking during the rainy season and circling the work campus in good weather. I found excuses to run documents to other buildings. Your mileage may vary, but I have to see the little FuelBand character do his happy dance each day when I make it to my goal. On the bracelet itself you can see steps, calories, time of day, and your NikeFuel total. It uploads via Bluetooth to an iPhone app or you plug it into a USB port to recharge and upload data. Online, you can see graphs of your activity and view all of your achievement badges, engage in challenges, and more.The upgraded Nike+ FuelBand SE also allows you to track specific exercise session and has Move Reminders to get you moving for at least five continuous minutes each hour. More »

Omron HJ-323u Pedometer

Omron HJ-323U Pedometer
Omron HJ-323U Pedometer. Courtesy of Pricegrabber

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This 3-axis pedometer is very accurate and has big, readable numbers. On the pedometer you can view your all-day steps, aerobic steps, distance, active calories burned, pitch (steps per minute) and time of day. You simply remove the end cap and plug it into a USB port to download your data to view on the OmronFitness Dashboard. Set goals, earn badges and track your fitness activities. The dashboard is rudimentary, with only full-day totals rather than minute-by-minute details. More »

Omron HJ-720 ITC Pedometer

Omron HJ-720 ITC Pedometer
Omron HJ-720 ITC Pedometer. Courtesy of Amazon

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The Omron HJ-720ITC Pedometer allows you to track your data on your own computer rather than uploading the data to a web site. You can connect it via USB with a PC. It tracks steps, distance and calories. I like the depth of detail you can view with the data, which is superior to what you get with the OmronFitness Dashboard online with their updated models. More »

Spark Activity Tracker

Spark Tracker
Spark Tracker. Courtesy of
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I don't usually like pedometers that lack numerical displays, but I warmed up to the Spark pretty swiftly. It has only 12 LED lights that light up as you achieve 1/12th of your daily step goal. You can adjust the goal yourself. Then it connects wirelessly with a USB stick and you can view your full data online at the popular web site. What tickled me was that the Spark automatically detects workouts, including cycling. I can clip it to my shoe and get workout credit for stationary cycling. It tracks steps, distance and calories. The web site is a very interactive diet-tracking site, where you can log your food, set and track weight loss goals. You can also go mobile with their apps, although the Spark can only communicate through the USB stick, not via Bluetooth. More »

Wahoo Fitness Stride Sensor

Wahoo Fitness Stride Sensor
Wahoo Fitness Stride Sensor. Courtesy of Pricegrabber

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This foot pod sensor transmits stride and speed data to any ANT+ compatible device. It is an advanced accelerometer that needs no calibration. There is a sensor key and apps available for the iPhone and iTouch. Most apps include speed, distance and calories. Apps should be available that also show step data. This device is only used for workouts, not for all-day step data. More »

Garmin Forerunner 10 and 110

Garmin Forerunner 10
Garmin Forerunner 10. Courtesy of Pricegrabber

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The Forerunner uses a GPS to get true distance and speed, although not really a pedometer in that you don't get a step count. It also works only outdoors unless you upgrade to versions that are compatible with an optional foot pod. The 110 version is compatible with an ANT+ chest strap heart monitor to also capture your heart rate data. With the basic 10 and 110 units, which sell for under $200, you get fewer training features than with their more expensive units.

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