Wearing a Pedometer: My Awakening

This is Part One of my new love/hate relationship with a Pedometer.

What is a pedometer?  It is a tiny 1-2" device that counts the motion of your hips to guess the number of steps you take each day. A basic pedometer only counts steps, whereas more complex devices ask for your "stride length" which then computes your distance traveled in miles.

The easiest way to see if your pedometer is accurate is to walk 30 steps and see if it records a 30.  Then repeat that test three times with the device in slightly different positions on your hip waistband.  I was able to get mine to about 90% of all my steps taken, the first and last steps and any side-to-side never appear.

How did I end up with a pedometer?  My husband is a full-time engineer; mainly a desk job, and our family's health insurance is covered through his employment.  A health initiative program began this year; one portion asks employees to wear a pedometer continuously and download the data to their computer at day's end for tracking.  The employee's goal is to walk 7000 steps 3 times a week for a quarterly $25 bonus on their medical spending account.  We are tempted to put it on our 5-year old at night for fun; since birth she has never slept still...

My husband wore his pedometer for about a week to see if he would meet the above requirements and he came to about 4,000 steps during the workday.  We both perform a one-hour workout in every morning as well, so he safely dropped the meter-totting.

What happened on my first 4 days?  Before I wore that little device, I thought surely I will blow it through the roof!  Stay-at-home Moms NEVER stop moving, especially when my 5 and 2 year old kids have yet to attend school for more than one hour each day.  From 7 am to 8 pm, they're awake and on the go, and so am I.

Last week I came down with a terrible coughing virus with a fever and had to skip my workouts (if you are feeling sick: if symptoms are above the neck, go for it; below the neck, stay in bed).  My kid-chasing daily routine didn't change much despite being sick so I began recording my pedometer's tally:

Tuesday: 3000
Wednesday: 5000
Thursday: 3500
Friday: 4500

And on Friday I accidentally wore it to bed and have not been able to find it.  Seriously.

So here it is, Wednesday of the following week, and I need to search the sheets and get back on it now that I'm recovered.  I am on a mission to search for tricks to get it over 10,000 everyday.  I'll be counting my walks (one 1/3 mile block of our neighborhood is 1500 steps), grocery trips, and more to see how I can crank up the number without burning myself out by the end of the day.

Why Keep Going?  In all honesty, I wanted to throw it out a window.  I'm a tired Mom.  But it was actually inspiring.  If 10,000 steps a day is the recommendation, by golly, I'm going to hit 10,000 steps a day!

Do you have tips to get my numbers higher?  
Is their something you'd like me to try and see what the count is?
Share your comments!

No, I won't shake it in my hand... although that is a highly-effective method...


  1. Choose a pocket pedometer or wear-anywhere model to have a choice of where to wear it. Pedometer watches include those that only track dedicated walking workouts rather than all-day steps -- needing to be started and stopped.


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