How does a 3D Pedometer actually work?… and more FAQs

Pedometers have found their way into everyday life. They are used to measure our daily activity and encourage us to move more. Experts recommend that you walk or run 10,000 steps per day. But how does a pedometer actually measure that?

In this article you will learn:

  • How does a pedometer measure the steps?
  • How does a pedometer app work in a smartphone?
  • What are the most popular pedometer brands?
  • How much a pedometer costs and where to buy it?
  • What is the easiest pedometer to use?
  • Are cheap pedometers accurate?
  • How many miles is 10000 steps?
  • How do I measure my step for a pedometer?

The modern electronic pedometers operate with Piezo Technology. It is based on a microelectrical-mechanical system (MEMS), which is also used in airbags and smartphones. The 3-D sensor captures all movements three-dimensionally: forward, sideways and upwards. The system inside the pedometer then translates this information into steps.

The technology also allows the device to recognize whether it is a step or a different movement, unlike the older devices that added a few steps on a bumpy car ride. This is why there are still inaccuracies in the measurement of the steps in the now popular fitness bracelets worn on the wrist.

For highest accuracy it is recommended to wear the pedometer on the hip, or in the trouser pocket.

Step counters are available in different forms. Simple devices without connection to a smartphone, as well as the modern Activity trackers and Fitness Bracelets that connect via bluetooth to your smartphone. We have put together and compared the SIMPLE pedometers here.

How does a pedometer app work in a smartphone?

There are also a lot of apps on the market that advertise to count steps for you just by carrying your mobile phone. These pedometer apps also work electronically. They use a sensor in the phone that is installed anyway, namely to rotate the screen depending on the handset of the phone.

However, this sensor is designed to react to rotational movements, not to movements forward, sideways and vertically. Therefore, the measurement of these pedometer apps is not as accurate as even cheap electronic pedometers.

What are known brands of pedometers?

The Japanese medical device manufacturer Omron played the pioneering role in the classical step counters market. With the Omron Walking Style series – one of the first electronic pedometers – they started the intitiative of measuring your movements just a couple of years ago. They have since been overtaken by the Misfits and Fitbits bracelets that started not only measuring steps but also other vital parameters, such as heart rate. These devices connected to the cloud, allowing them to store and analyse the data over time and even share it with others.

The shooting star in 2016 was the British brand Competitive Sport Xtreme (CSX) with its bestseller CSX 3-D pedometer. For under $20 it currently offers the best value for money in this market.

Now there are more brands coming up and you can see identical products sourced from China under different brand names.

In the field of fitness bracelets, the market has become increasingly diverse, as more and more electronics companies are jumping on the bandwagon of the wearables. Garmin (GPS Systems), Polar (Heart Rate Monitors), Smartphone manufacturer Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, Sony and even Nike have brought Activity Trackers onto the market and now offer the start-up pioneers Fitbit and Misfit fierce competition.

And more and more, cheap commoditised bracelets under various brand names, even offer fitness bracelets with bluetooth connection for around $20.

What does a pedometer cost? Where can I buy a counter?

If you just want to measure steps and distance and do not need to upload, analyse or share the data, accurate pedometers are already available for under $20.

However, these do not have a workout mode, which automatically distinguishes between normal walking and running. So if you want to measure your exercise performance you would need more advanced fitness trackers.

In the table below we have put together the best rated simple pedometers on Amazon:

Top rated pedometers under 20 US$ in 2020

Cloudpoem Fitness Watch3DTriSport Walking 3DGRV Fitness TrackerOZO Fitness SC 3D Walking Pedometer
# daily stepsyesyesyesyes
Calories burnedyesyesyesyes
Data storageno30 daysno30 days
WornWrist BandPocket, Clip and StrapWrist BandsPocket, Clip and Strap
BatteryMagnetic ChargerCR2032USB ChargeCR2032
Price US
Price UK

What is the easiest pedometer to use?

A simple pedometer will measure your steps for the day. You can use a simple pedometer as a weight loss tool, to help track how many calories you are burning from walking, or to determine the efficacy of your workout regime. Wearing a pedometer couldn’t be simpler! You just attach it to your waistband or place it in your pocket, and go for a walk! That’s right! The more you walk, the more accurate the readings will be.

Another factor is how easy it is to set the pedometer up. There are quite a lot of simple step counters where you only have to enter your weight, heightand age and they will calculate the rest. Our recommendations as a wrist band is the GRV Non Bluetooth Fitness Tracker and as a tracker that you put in your pocket: The 3D FitBud

Are cheap pedometers accurate?

Yes, pedometers that are inexpensive are accurate. The modern sensors even in cheaptrackers are pretty good today. Some have calibration issues and will register steps that you don’t actually take. However, the number of steps you take isn’t that important for weight loss goals. It’s the motivating factor that counts. There is no reason to spend extra money on a more expensive pedometer unless accuracy is something that is important to you.

How many miles is 10000 steps?

Depends on your step length. In general (for most people), 10000 steps equates to approximately 5 miles. You may have heard that 10000 steps is a good daily goal for healthy living, but that’s not necessarily true. Everyone has different fitness levels and needs, and many factors can influence how much you actually burn through exercise – from what you eat to your current weight to your age. If 10000 steps is too challenging (or unrealistic) for you, don’t worry – just aim for as many as possible each day and make sure they’re quality steps! Being consistant is more important that meeting the 10,000 step goal.

How do I measure my step for a pedometer?

  1. Mark a line on the ground in front of your toes.
  2. Run 10 steps normally.
  3. Mark another line on the ground in front of your toes.
  4. Take a tape measure and measure the distance between the two marks.
  5. Divide the distance by 10