Want A Cheap Way To Stay Fit? Buy A Pedometer

The Los Angeles Times says that people tend to get weirdly fixated on pedometers when they have them, and will try harder to hit their daily activity goals. A San Diego State University professor tells the paper, “We don’t know why exactly, but keeping a number, a prompt, in our consciousness on a regular basis is important, and that’s why pedometers are superior to other methods. It’s on you all the time.”

Pedometers are fairly cheap, but I thought it would be even better if you could find a smartphone application. The results of my quick search for viable pedometer apps were disappointing, but here goes:

I found several mentions of fitness apps with pedometer functions for Android, including this one at Google Code, but I don’t have an Android to test any out. If you do, please add your advice to the comments below.

Nokia has an awesome and very accurate free one, but it may not work on newer phones. (It worked perfectly on the 5800, if you happen to be one of the 12 people in the US who owns one.)

And yeah, there are pedometer apps for the iPhone, too–you just have to keep the app running the entire day, which might be problematic. There’s also the $20 Nike + iPod sensor, but it has no built-in display and no replaceable battery, only lasts for about 1000 hours, and is actually designed for runners. Hmm, maybe a basic clip-on pedometer is still your best bet.

“Pedometers can motivate users to get in step” [Los Angeles Times]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.