WHAT IT IS AND WHY YOU SHOULD USE ONE
If you enjoy getting immediate feedback about your physical activity, you may want to think about using a pedometer.
A pedometer is a small battery operated device that clips to your belt or waistband. It tracks the number of steps you take when you are performing physical activity, or during your daily activities at work or home.
Pedometers record vertical movement at the hip so they can record walking as well as stair climbing, elliptical machines, hiking, etc.
HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR STEPS
To set a realistic goal, follow these steps:
Thirty minutes of walking is approximately equal to 3000-4000 steps, and the Surgeon General recommends 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity on most days of the week in order to attain health benefits.
- Establish a baseline for the number of steps you take during an average day. To determine your baseline, wear the pedometer all day for seven full days. Add steps per day and take the average steps for the seven days.
- Use your baseline steps to set weekly step goals to increase your physical activity. Make sure your goal is realistic (i.e. increase daily steps 5-10%). For example, if you found your baseline was an average of 1500 steps per day for a week, your goal may be to increase your steps by 10% the following week. Here is how you would calculate this: 1500 steps/day X 10%. Your goal for the following week would be an average of 1650 steps per day.
- For further benefits, higher daily step count goals can be set as you progress in your activity.
- Record your baseline steps and progress in your pedometer diary or use the online pedometer tracking tool.
FIT YOUR GOALS INTO YOUR CURRENT SCHEDULE
You may also set goals with the activities in your day-to-day tasks.
Example 1 – Don’t drive around the grocery store parking lot trying to find the closest spot. Instead, park away from the building and walk.
Example 2 – When you are at work, avoid taking the elevator and use the stairs instead. Walk and deliver messages or ask questions in person rather than using email at the office.
LIST 5 WAYS THAT YOU CAN INTEGRATE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY INTO YOUR DAY
Get F.I.T.T.: Principles for Physical Activity.