Pedometers and step counters may seem like a thing of the past, but think again!
In the age of smartwatches and smartphones, pedometers are becoming more popular than ever. In this article, we’re going to cover the best and most accurate pedometers out there, as well as how many steps we should be doing per day.
But before we get into our list, have you ever considered a career in the health and fitness industry? If so, why not take the first step on this exciting and rewarding journey with OriGym’s CIMSPA accredited Level 2 Gym & Fitness Instructing course.
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The 13 Best Pedometers for Counting Your Steps
Price: £379 (Polar Grit X Cycling Bundle: £449)
If you’re after a multifunctional and accurate pedometer that will not only track your steps but also your distance, speed, and elevation - look no further than the Polar Grit X multisport watch.
Complete with Smart Coaching features to push your workouts further, this smartwatch will also help guide you on your route. It even tracks your heart rate and gives you a complete overview of your workout at the end, even going as far as displaying the number of calories burned during exercise.
This is the best wrist pedometer on the market if you want to track more than just your steps. You can also wear your watch to bed to see a breakdown of your sleeping pattern and how exactly your body uses different energy sources during your workout. For more information on the importance of rest days and how many you need, check out our complete guide.
Weighing in at only 64 grams, the Polar Grit X sport watch is super light and incredibly durable, with a battery life of up to 7 days. It works perfectly as a fitness step counter, but is so much more than that. You’ll never want to take this watch off your wrist!
The 3DFitBud is a basic step counter that is suitable for people of all ages. Highly accurate and incredibly easy to use, just clip it to your waist or toss it in your bag and get walking!
With 3D Tri-Axis Sensor technology, this pedometer is as accurate as it is simple to use! This makes it ideal for those who want a step counter that can be used without a smartphone or an app.
Designed to be an effective basic step counter, there is no setup required with the 3DFitBud pedometer, and no charging time either! The battery is included and should last for up to 12 months, so you don’t have to worry about charging it.
With a weight of only 24g, this clip on step counter is easy to carry and comes with both a clip and a lanyard to hang it around your neck if you don’t want to wear it on your waist.
Price: $29.99 (approx. £22)
This simple pedometer comes complete with Tri-Axis technology to ensure accurate step counting, and even gives you an estimate of the number of calories burned! Why not set a daily step goal to stay motivated? Or try sticking to a timer and seeing how quickly you can go. And you’re not just limited to walking, either – clip it on for a run or a hike!
There are some great pedometer reviews for the Realalt 3D pedometer, with a 5-star rating overall. Users praise it for being versatile and accurate, as it can be worn on your waistband or around your neck and will still record your steps perfectly.
This is one of the best pedometers available for walking, as it is not only cost effective but also packed with unique features that set it a step above other basic step counters. The large display isideal for those with visual impairments and its simple and easy to read screen makes it a great option for anyone who wants to use it.
Coming with a clip or a lanyard, you can wear your 3D TriSport pedometer on your waistband, hung around your neck, or as a pocket pedometer – it’ll track your steps from anywhere!
Sleek, minimalist, and attractive, the ScanWatch is one of the best wrist pedometers out there. Alongside tracking each step, this watch will track your heart rate, respiration, and even your sleep!
Concerned about your general health? The ScanWatch allows you to share your heart rate readings with your doctor via the Health Mate app. It also records your blood oxygen and sleep respiration levels to pick out any patterns or areas of concern. However, if you’re interested only in heart rate monitors to track your data, take a look at our product list.
This is definitely not a basic step counter, although it does display the amount of steps on the watch face. Advanced 3-axis technology helps to make this an incredibly accurate pedometer, and with the GPS feature, it can show you exactly where you took all of those steps.
A 30-day battery life makes this one of the best pedometers for walking. No more going to put on your watch only to discover it’s as dead as a doornail and you’ll miss out on counting those valuable steps!
Highly customisable, you can personalise your ScanWatch to suit your style best. You’re given a range of features to choose from such as the length of your watch strap, the colour of the metal, and whether you want the face of the ScanWatch to be white or black.
The FitPro Tonic is a great multifunctional step counter that can do it all. It monitors the distance walked, the number of burned calories, and even your blood pressure! By helping you keep an eye on your health along with your steps, this smartwatch will help you reach your fitness goals faster than a simple pedometer.
You can set your pedometer to remind you to eat, drink, and stay active in order to reach your exercise and step goals. Wear your FitPro Tonic to bed to analyse your sleep and see your statistics and areas for improvement!
Stay connected while you exercise by setting your FitPro Tonic to receive calls, texts, and Twitter notifications right to your wrist. You’ll also never have to worry about losing your phone again. With the watch’s Find My Phone feature, you’ll locate your phone again in no time!
Compatible with both Apple and Android devices, this isn’t a basic step counter but will give your everyday health a massive boost thanks to the amazing tracking features that comes with it.
Cheap pedometers and basic step counters can sometimes be very limited, but this isn’t one of them. The Colmi PLUS Smart Watch is a fantastic all-round pedometer that tracks not only your steps but all aspects of exercise, as well as your heart rate, number of calories burned, and even your sleep!
Navigate your Colmi smartwatch with the 1.7” full HD touchscreen, and connect it to your smartphone via Stable Bluetooth. Compatible with both Apple and Android devices, this is the best wrist pedometer that does much more than simply count your steps. If you’re looking to add music to your walks, take a look at our list of the best bluetooth running headphones.
With a 5-7 day battery life with constant use, or a 20 day life with low battery consumption, this accurate pedometer allows you to receive messages and calls on its high definition watch face. Track your steps with other workout modes including running, cycling, swimming, and even badminton.
Coming in 4 attractive, modern colours, this is a stylish fitness step counter that can do much more than tell you how far you’ve walked. At £59.99, this is a fantastic value smartwatch that can do much more than a basic pedometer.
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Price: €59.95 (approx. £52)
The FitBit Zip is a simple clip on pedometer that combines the classic with the modern. Just clip it to your waist or hang it around your neck to get an accurate step count along with the distance travelled and number of calories burned.
While it is a very simple pedometer, the Zip is incredibly high quality and made from smooth, molded plastic with rounded edges that will remain comfortable throughout the day.
With a battery that can last up to a whopping 6 months, you don’t have to worry about your Zip step counter dying halfway through the day. You can also sync your steps and your data to your smartphone to track your progress over the weeks and months!
At a tiny size of 28mm wide and under 10mm thick, your Zip will clip comfortably to your bag, waistband, or jacket without being clunky or noticeable. The 3-axis accelerometer technology allows this to be one of the most accurate pedometers on the market, while being small, sleek, and very easy to use.
#8 – Garmin Vivosmart 4
Garmin is known for creating sleek smart watches that are easy to read and efficient, and the Vivosmart 4 is no exception. Track your steps, sleep, and heart rate with this multifunctional and easy to use pedometer.
The Vivosmart 4 has multiple activity timers including running, strength training, and yoga – so you’re not just limited to walking!
This is the best wrist pedometer if you’re looking for something that is both cost effective and accurate. At £99.99, you get an incredible number of features that make this so much more than a simple step counter. Choose between 5 colours and 2 lengths to get the perfect smartwatch for you!
Along with tracking your steps, the Vivosmart 4 helps to gauge your blood oxygen levels, as well as showing you when it is the best time for you to be active. With a personalised step goal each day, this is the best pedometer if you want something with bonus features that will help you go above and beyond with your goals each day.
In addition to meeting your goals with this step pedometer, why not set the ultimate one? Check out our guide here on how to train for a marathon, containing all of the best tips and tricks!
Small enough to slip into your pocket, this pedometer is precise and accurate, allowing you to reliably track your step wherever you go. Simply clip it to your waistband or use it as a convenient pocket pedometer and off you go!
Easy pedometers can sometimes lack features, but with an accurate 3D sensor and an average calorie count, the Omron walking pedometer is full of simple but effective features that can help you reach your step goals.
There are some great pedometer reviews for this one! Sitting at a fantastic 4.4 stars on the Argos website, users largely praise its simplicity and effectiveness. With a 7-day memory, you’ll be able to see the history of your steps and stay motivated.
However, you won’t be able to see your step history after the 7 days are up. If you want to keep a step counter that shows you the total history of your steps, it might be worth checking out some of the other watches on this list!
This is the best wrist pedometer if you want a smartwatch that can be used without a smartphone or an app. Easy to use and simple to set up, all it takes is a swipe of the screen to see your statistics, including steps taken, calories burned, and distance walked.
Some pedometers for walking can have short battery lives, but the Willful smartwatch can last for 7 days with only one two-hour charge – much longer than your average pedometer watch! Don’t let your smartwatch beat your energy levels! Keep your spirit up with our list of the 37 Best Foods for Energy.
With a slim design, this watch comes in 4 different colours that will suit anyone looking for a handy wrist pedometer that can accurately track their steps without any tricky apps or Bluetooth connections.
This is a great option if you’re looking for cheap pedometers in the UK. At only £20.99, it is both functional and cost effective, making it an incredibly accurate pedometer at a very attractive price. It can also be used with and without a smartphone so you don’t have to spend time worrying about Bluetooth connections or annoying phone settings.
#11 – FitBit Versa 3
The second FitBit product on our list, the FitBit Versa 3 is the best step counter for tracking your walks and runs. With a built-in GPS to track your routes and provide you with detailed feedback on your performances, this smartwatch comes with a heart rate tracker to give you a highly accurate estimate of calories burned.
Along with being a highly accurate pedometer, the FitBit Versa 3 can track your sleep and stress, as well as many other exercises that are not step based. If you ever forget to start a workout, the SmartTrack feature will automatically recognise your exercise and start tracking it for you.
The Versa 3 is a multifunctional smartwatch that is a pedometer, a sleep tracker, and an alarm clock rolled into one. With a battery life of 6+ days, you won’t have to worry about it dying on you and missing out on tracking your steps. Simply download the app, turn on your watch, and get going!
#12 – NewFeel OnWalk Podowatch
The NewFeel Podowatch is the best wrist pedometer if you’re looking for something simple to use as its backlit display makes it easy to read.
Also, if you enjoy swimming, there’s no need to take it off in the water, as it is waterproof up to 5 ATM (50 metres). However, if swimming trackers to help track your data are more your thing, get started with our product list.
This simple pedometer tracks your steps with a 3D accelerometer, ensuring an accurate step count and distance tracker. With a memory of up to 7 days, you can track your progress and see your steps throughout the week, as well as your distance travelled, calories burned, and the speed you’re walking at.
With a price of only £19.99, this makes it one of the cheapest and best pedometers in the UK.
However, something to bear in mind is that this step counter was designed just for measuring walking steps, and isn’t recommended to track your steps for hill walking or running. If you’re looking for a more advanced multisport watch, check out some of the other pedometers and best step counters on this list!
#13 – Samsung Galaxy Fit2
The Samsung Galaxy Fit2 is a luxury smartwatch and pedometer at an amazing price. For only £49, you connect this watch to your smartphone with the Samsung Health app and watch as it tracks your sleep, stress levels, and steps.
With a fantastic battery life of 15 days, the Fit2 uses an accelerometer to track your steps, making it a highly accurate pedometer that sits comfortably on your wrist. At only 11.1mm thick, this is the best wrist pedometer if you want something so lightweight and sleek you’ll hardly know it’s there.
A great bonus of this watch is that it doubles not only as a pedometer tracking your steps, but also as a multipurpose workout tracker that can be used when swimming too. With a function that even reminds you to wash your hands for health and hygiene, if you want a pedometer for walking, running, and everything in-between, the Galaxy Fit2 is a great choice.
What to Think About When Buying a Pedometer
What's My Style?
Pedometers and step counters come in a couple of different styles. Do you want something that you can wear on your wrist, or maybe a clip on pedometer you can attach to your outfit or bag?
A clip on step counter will likely be more basic, just showing you how many steps you have taken and giving you an estimate of your calories burned. However, they are very convenient and accurate, and if you simply want something to track your steps, a clip on pedometer is a great choice.
Pedometers that you can wear on your wrists are handy as a watch as well as a step counter, and often have many more features than a simple step counter does. This can also make it easier to remember to use.
What Features Are Most Important To Me?
When buying a fitness step counter, consider if you want it to just track your steps and distance or whether you want it to be able s/to track other data such as your heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and sleep.
If you want a basic pedometer that just tracks your steps, opt for one with fewer features. They usually cost less, and still do a great job of accurately measuring your step count and distance travelled.
However, added features can be highly beneficial in tracking your health data and motivating you to work out. Some basic pedometers and step counters only count steps, not other types of activity, so if you enjoy weight training or swimming along with walking, a smartwatch would be the better option to help track your activity.
What's My Budget?
Pedometers come in at all different price points, and cost is an important factor to think about when buying one. Simple pedometers are often much cheaper as they have more basic features that track your steps and distance travelled. Wrist pedometers, including smartwatches, will often cost more because they include many more features.
However, you can find many smartwatches with extra features for a very good price. For around £50, you can get watches such as the Colmi PLUS and the Samsung Galaxy Fit2, which are highly advanced smartwatches that work not only as step counters, but as sleep and heart rate trackers too!
Something to keep in mind when buying a smartwatch is that they will usually need a smartphone and an app to work which can potentially drain your battery, especially if they use GPS.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do pedometers recognise when you are walking?
Pedometers work by detecting the motion of your hands or hips depending on where your pedometer is placed, and calculating the number of steps you’re taking in relation to that movement.
Some pedometers and step counters can also track the distance you’ve travelled by taking into consideration this motion as well as your height, which gives them a more accurate estimate.
Don’t think you can shake your pedometer to try and trick it into counting more steps either! This may have worked in the past, but advances in technology mean step counters are now much harder to trick into thinking you’ve been walking all day when really you’ve been sitting on the couch watching TV.
Are pedometers accurate?
This is a topic that has been widely discussed in the scientific community. As pedometers and the best step counters are used in scientific trials, it’s important that they be as accurate as possible for the best results.
Basic step counters have been found to be the most accurate when users are walking on flat surfaces at around 3mph, or around 4.83km/hour. Some can falsely count steps when users are sitting or driving, but this has grown less common as pedometers and smartwatches have become more advanced.
If you have a smartphone, the chances are that you have a built-in health app that tracks your steps when you have your phone on you. But just how accurate is this step counter?
This 2018 study from the Journal of Exercise Science & Fitness tested just how accurate a pedometer app was compared to a traditional pedometer. The results showed that at a brisk pace of 6km/hour, both the app and the mechanical pedometer were equally accurate, and the mechanical pedometer underestimated the number of steps taken at the lower speeds of 2 and 4km/hour.
However, this is not to say that mechanical pedometers are bad or inaccurate. Mechanical pedometers, or smartwatches that you wear on your wrist, will track all of the steps you take throughout the day when you’re wearing them. An app will only track steps you take with your phone in your hand or in your pocket.
How many steps should I walk per day?
You might think that the answer to this question is obvious – it’s 10,000, right? Most pedometers and step counters will come with a pre-loaded goal of 10,000 steps per day. However, the truth is that you don’t have to hit this target every day to receive great health benefits.
We aim for 10,00 steps a day thanks to a marketing campaign dating all the way back to 1964, from a company selling – you guessed it – pedometers! Since then, the number has stuck, but should we be aiming for it?
According to the BBC, a study that examined the relationship between the amount of steps and life expectancy found that the benefits of walking more plateaued at around 7,500 steps per day. Walking more, such as increasing step count from 2,000 to 4,000, mattered more than getting 10,000 steps per day.
If you want to increase your step count with a pedometer or step counter, starting at 10,000 steps per day can be overwhelming. Begin with a lower goal, and work your way up to a step count that is sustainable for you – if you work long days, you might not be able to get 10,000 every single day, but increasing it will work wonders for your physical health.
However, you’ll be surprised just how easy it is to fit these steps in. If you live close enough, why not forgo the car or bus one morning and discover the benefits of walking to work? You’ll be surprised how good it will make you feel!
Before you go!
Now that we’ve covered some of the best pedometers for walking and step counters out there, we hope you’re inspired to strap one to your wrist or waist and get your steps in. Remember to keep it handy for accurate tracking, and don’t worry about getting 10,000 steps a day – just increase your step count and start walking!
If you’re considering turning your hobby or passion into an exciting career, OriGym’s Level 2 Fitness Instructor course may just be the thing to get you started!
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Written by Professional S & C Coaches
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- Presset, Bastien; Laurenczy, Balazs; Malatesta, Davide; and Barral, Jérôme, ‘Accuracy of a smartphone pedometer application according to different speeds and mobile phone locations in a laboratory context’ in Journal of Exercise Science & Fitness, (2018, Vol. 16, Issue 2) 43-48, ISSN 1728-869X, doi: 10.1016/j.jesf.2018.05.001.