The 10 Best Pedometers for Counting Your Steps

Pedometer Reviews for Waistband Models

What is the best pedometer? Using a step counter pedometer is a great way to keep active—aiming to increase your steps by 2,000 per day towards a goal of 10,000 steps per day. The best pedometers can calculate and display other interesting stats, such as distance, calories burned, speed, elapsed time, steps per minute, or function as a stopwatch and alarm. Some pedometers will link with apps so you can have have fancy features like talking, playing music, or reading your heart rate. These models are all worn on your waistband or in a pocket, but there are plenty of great picks for wristband pedometers.

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The Omron HJ-321 is one of the latest generation of pedometers that uses a silent tri-axis mechanism that tolerates being tilted. No clicking or rattling. You can wear it in the traditional spot—clipped to your waistband—or carry it in a pocket, on a lanyard, or however else suits your lifestyle. The Omron HJ-321 counts steps, calculates distance, and calories burned. It tracks aerobic steps separately when walking or jogging more than 60 steps per minute or more than 10 minutes continuously. It resets itself automatically each day, with a seven-day memory to review past days. It comes with a security leash to ensure you don't lose it. This model doesn't upload to a computer or app, but its big brother the Omron Hj-323U uploads via a built-in USB stick to the OmronFitness.com personal dashboard. You can manually enter your data there if you prefer the less-expensive HJ-321. If you have a smartphone, you may prefer the tiny Omron Alvita Wireless HJ-327T. It's tiny and has a six-month battery life.

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The Fitbit family has captured over 50 percent of the wearable activity monitor market. They have waistband models and wristband models, including the Flex 2 that can be worn either way. All Fitbits sync their data wirelessly to a mobile app or a computer. You will need either a computer or smartphone to make use of all of Fitbit's features. Most models also track your sleep quality and you can use the dashboard or app to track your diet and match calories burned to calories eaten.

  • Fitbit Zip: Waistband/pocket clip model. It costs less but doesn't track sleep. You can read the data on its display and it has a battery that lasts for many months. All other Fitbits must be recharged every few days.
  • Fitbit One. Waistband/pocket clip model with many advanced features.
  • Fitbit Flex and Flex 2 wristband (can also be worn in a clip):These have no numerical display, simply lights that indicate your progress towards you goal. You see your full data on the app or online dashboard.
  • Fitbit Charge 2: Wristband with continuous heart rate and advanced workout-tracking features.
  • Fitbit Alta and Alta HR: Wristband with inactivity alert and numerical display.
  • Fitbit Surge Super Fitness Watch: Watch with GPS speed/distance and continuous heart rate.
  • Fitbit Blaze: Watch with advanced workout-tracking features.

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The CW-701 is the update to the highly-accurate SW-701. Beyond step counting, it displays distance, calories burned, clock, and activity time. Yamax beefed up the mechanism with a long-lasting spring coil and heavy coated pendulum, which they claim improves accuracy 2.5 percent over the SW models. The belt clip is now made of sturdy metal. But the biggest change is in the display, with two lines to show multiple data. It now has a seven-day daily memory for steps, distance, calories, and activity time. It keeps a two-week total for each as well.

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The Omron Alvita Ultimate Pedometer is a full-featured pedometer (steps, distance, calories) also tracks your aerobic steps. The pedometer is of an advanced design that tolerates more tilt than many. It is also absolutely silent and very accurate. It has a nice big display for easy reading. It stores data for seven days and resets itself at midnight.

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The Garmin vivofit 3 is a great fitness band, but you can also wear it clipped to your waistband. that not only tracks your walks but also alerts you to keep active each hour throughout the day. It has a battery that lasts over a year before you replace it. You can also track your sleep. You can sync it to a mobile app or your computer via a USB stick. You can pair it with an ANT+ heart rate monitor to view you heart rate while you exercise.

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This is an excellent multi-function pedometer to count steps and walking time, and calculates distance, moderate-intensity exercise time, and vigorous-intensity exercise time. You can reset your totals at any time with the reset button. It doesn't estimate calories or have a memory feature.

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The Yamax Digi-Walker SW-200 only counts steps but is considered the gold standard by pedometer researchers who use it as their most accurate reference. You can't go wrong—there is only a reset button. You can reset your step total to zero whenever you want.

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This Sportline pedometer allows you to reset your steps, distance, and exercise time total to zero whenever you want. It has an accelerometer mechanism and can be worn on the waistband or carried in a pocket. It is very inexpensive.

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NEW LIFESTYLES NL-2000i 3-D Piezoelectric Pedometer
NEW LIFESTYLES NL-2000i 3-D Piezoelectric Pedometer. NEW LIFESTYLES ©

The NL-2000i is great pedometer for setting goals for steps, moderate-intensity physical activity, and calories burned. You can see your hourly progress and achievements, which can also be helpful for those of us who want to decrease our time spent sitting. The automatic seven-day and 14-day memory helps you track your walking. It is a pocket pedometer that doesn't have a belt clip, although it comes with a pedometer safety leash.

 

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This Sportline pedometer counts steps, distance, calories, and active time. It has an accelerometer mechanism and uses Sportline's MoveTrac technology.  The big button is just what some people want, allowing you to reset the totals. But some users find it too easy to accidentally reset the total when you don't want to.

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Best Pedometer Apps

Fitness App
Track Your Steps with a Fitness App. Hero Images/Getty Images

If you carry your phone with you everywhere, you may not need a pedometer. Use an app to track your steps all day or to log a walking workout. Here's a secret, you can even use the Fitbit app to track the steps you take while carrying your phone without owning a Fitbit.

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