Best Pedometers For Seniors

Best Pedometers For Seniors (2021): Top Models & Expert Buying Guide

By jwilder

Best Pedometers For Seniors

It’s common knowledge that the simple act of walking is very good for your health

But it can be hard to motivate yourself when you don’t see results day in and day out!

It’s also hard to know whether or not you’ve walked enough in the day without a pedometer. These simple devices make it very easy to set fitness goals and stick to them, as well as track your progress over time. Check out our guide to the best pedometers for seniors and find the one that fits you best!

What is a Pedometer?

Pedometers are small electronic devices that register the motions of each of your footsteps. They detect the vibration of every footfall and tally them up across an entire workout, day, or week.

Pedometers, in the past, were sold as separate devices that were worn on the hips or on one ankle. Today, however, most pedometers are included in fitness watches and trackers, like the Apple Watch or the ever-popular FitBit.

Pedometers are used by professional athletes and everyday people alike to track their steps. Knowing how many steps you take during a run or jog can help you improve your form and get faster, while simultaneously avoiding injury. The CDC recommends that you take 10,000 steps each day to remain healthy and fit. Having a pedometer is the best way to make sure that you’re doing just that!

How Does a Pedometer Work?

Pedometers have small electronic sensors that register the vibration that corresponds to a footstep. In most devices, this sensor is made up of a small lever and a metal plate; every time you step, the lever will bounce and contact the metal plate, registering another step. This makes pedometers relatively accurate, because they rely on vibration, not GPS position, to decide how many steps you are taking.

If a fitness watch or other exercise tracker were using GPS data to track steps, it would be much less reliable because it could mistake cycling, driving, or even public transportation as walking/running steps. Furthermore, GPS data cannot measure your stride length, so it would only be estimating your steps based on distance.

Pros and Cons of Pedometers for Seniors

Pros

  • Track Your Steps: Getting to 10,000 steps in one day is no easy task- it’s roughly equivalent to 5 miles. If you are committed to meeting that step goal (or any other), knowing how many steps you’ve taken, and how many you have left, is very helpful.
  • Exercise Motivation: The benefits of exercise are very hard to see in the short term; it can take weeks or even months for results to present themselves. Tracking your steps and seeing the number at the end of each day gives you tangible evidence that your effort is paying off. In a study conducted with survivors of breast cancer, this type of motivation provided by fitness trackers was very beneficial.
  • Condition Management: In a study produced by the World Journal of Gastroenterology, pedometers and fitness trackers helped people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) manage their symptoms. If you have IBD or another condition that affects your immune system or digestion, tracking your steps can help you engage in activity that decreases your symptoms and helps you feel healthier and more normal.

Cons

  • The only true drawback of pedometer technology is that it isn’t 100% accurate. While modern pedometers work very well, they can still register some motions as steps when they aren’t. Pedometers are roughly 96% accurate if you are walking/jogging at least 3 miles per hour, but their accuracy slips to about 91% and 70% in a worst-case scenario. In case you were wondering, the pedometer built into your smartphone is only 80% accurate at best!

The Best Pedometers for Seniors

1. Best Pedometer for Seniors (Overall): FitBit Charge 4

Fitbit Charge 4 Fitness and Activity Tracker with Built-in GPS, Heart Rate, Sleep & Swim Tracking, Black/Black, One Size (S &L Bands Included)

This bracelet tracks your steps, heart rate, and more, with a battery that lasts for up to seven full days- it’s everything an active senior needs! The FitBit Charge 4 is one of the most versatile and affordable fitness watches on the market; it has all the health features of the $400 Apple Watch but costs less than half that amount.

The Charge 4 tracks your steps all day long, analyzes the quality of your sleep, and has 20 different workout modes so you’ll never get bored. If you enjoy exercising and watching your progress, this is the GPS watch for you. It uses Bluetooth to pair with your phone, connecting to your Spotify, and displaying in-depth fitness and health data on the FitBit app (this data is private, it is stored on your phone and displayed via the app).

If you enjoy working out or want to keep a close eye on your health, this is the watch for you. It’s much less expensive than other GPS watches, the pedometer is very accurate, and it’s got a great stylish design.

Pros

  • 7-day battery life
  • 24/7 step tracking and heart rate monitoring
  • 20 different workout modes

Cons

  • GPS and music drain the battery, only use while exercising
  • No “smartwatch” capabilities (phone calls, texts, etc)

2. Best Easy to Use Pedometer for Seniors: Garmin Forerunner 35

Garmin 010-01689-00 Forerunner 35; Easy-to-Use GPS Running Watch, Black

This is the simplest fitness watch on the market, and one of the most affordable to boot! For less than $100, you get a watch that will track your steps, monitor your heart rate, and count your daily calories, all at the touch of a button.

The Forerunner is, first and foremost, a running watch, so many of its advanced features are geared toward running activities. The good news, though, is that these advanced features are only accessible in running mode. The day-to-day mode is very easy to use. The watch has just four buttons, meaning you don’t have to learn a brand new interface just to check your heart rate.

The pedometer on this watch is very accurate, rarely counting false steps or missing out on your movement. If you’re looking for a great deal on a watch that’ll help you measure your fitness and get in shape, the Garmin Forerunner 35 is perfect for you.

Pros

  • Less than $100
  • Simple and easy-to-read interface
  • Accurate step tracking and heart rate monitoring
  • 9-day battery life

Cons

  • Watch band can become uncomfortable
  • GPS can take a long time to connect before running/cycling workouts

3. Best Pedometers for Walking for Seniors: Omron HJ-112 Pocket Pedometer

Omron HJ-112 Digital Pocket Pedometer

This pedometer is extremely accurate, easy to use, and can be simply tossed in your pocket for the day rather than worn around your neck or on your waistband. It accurately tracks your steps no matter where you wear it, and the battery lasts for up to 6 months! The HJ-112 even counts your calories, something that almost no other pedometer does (fitness watches notwithstanding).

The only downside to this pedometer is that it’s quite pricey. For a device that only counts calories and steps, its roughly $75 price tag is a bit too steep. Still, though, there is no better way to track your steps if you are the type of person who doesn’t like high-tech devices!

Pros

  • Very accurate tracking, even when walking
  • 6-month battery life
  • Also counts calories burned each day

Cons

  • Expensive for a simple pedometer
  • Cannot connect to phone or laptop

4. Best Cheap Pedometer for Seniors: Realalt 3DTrisport Walking Pedometer

3DTriSport Walking 3D Pedometer with Clip and Strap, Free eBook | 30 Days Memory, Accurate Step Counter, Walking Distance Miles/Km, Calorie Counter, Daily Target Monitor, Exercise Time (Grey/Black)

If you’re looking for a dependable pedometer at a bargain, the 3DTrisport is perfect for you. It costs less than $40, it’s very precise, and it clips right onto your waistband. It’s a fuss and hassle-free device that does its job reliably and rarely encounters issues. It requires no smartphone or Bluetooth connection and the included batteries last for a full year- what more could you want?

This product is a pedometer only; it won’t track any other data, and it won’t connect to your devices. If you’re interested in in-depth health data, this isn’t the pedometer for you. If, on the other hand, you’re only looking to hit your daily 10,000 steps, the 3Dtrisport is the best option by far.

Pros

  • Excellent step tracking
  • Very inexpensive
  • Clips to waistband or lanyard (included)

Cons

  • Only tracks steps
  • Cannot upload data to your phone or computer

5. Best Pedometer for Sedentary Seniors: Fitbit Inspire 2

Fitbit Inspire 2 Health & Fitness Tracker with a Free 1-Year Fitbit Premium Trial, 24/7 Heart Rate, Black/White, One Size (S & L Bands Included)

If you live a sedentary lifestyle, you are at increased risk for heart disease, strokes, and type 2 diabetes. That being said, motivating yourself to adopt a more active lifestyle is very difficult. The Fitbit Inspire 2 is a fully-featured fitness tracker that reminds you, once every hour, to get up and take at least 250 steps. Over the course of your day, you’ll hit the recommended 10,000 steps simply by responding to your movement reminders!

The Fitbit Inspire 2 also has all of the run tracking, heart monitoring, and calorie-counting data that other fitness trackers have. It’s just a much simpler and more casual-feeling version of these devices, even though the features are much the same.

Planet Fitness, the nationwide franchise of over 2,000 gyms, built their brand on a motto: being the “judgment-free gym”. They know that many people feel intimidated by the fitness world and sought to create a place where anyone would feel welcome. The Fitbit Inspire 2 is a pedometer/fitness tracker with a very similar concept: it’s a fitness tracker that doesn’t make you feel intimidated or out of your depth.

Pros

  • Hourly reminders to move, easy motivation
  • Affordably priced fitness watch
  • 10 days of battery life
  • Free 1-year subscription to Fitbit Premium

Cons

  • Sleep tracking isn’t 100% accurate
  • Display can be hard to read in direct sunlight

Buying Guide: How to Choose a Pedometer for Seniors

Major Brands of Pedometers

  • Fitbit: With more than 100 million devices sold, Fitbit is a massive health and wellness company. They have several trackers spanning a wide range of uses and budgets. Fitbits are valued for their simplicity, accuracy, and low prices compared to high-end fitness watches.
  • Garmin: Makers of some of the world’s best and most accurate GPS devices, Garmin’s lineup of running and adventure watches have excellent pedometers. If you’re serious about your fitness, there is no better watch than Garmin!

Price Range of Pedometers

Pedometers can be very cheap- if they’re not built into a fitness tracker/watch. Fitness watches are expensive and complex devices, while standalone pedometers are the exact opposite. Therefore, it makes sense to talk about price ranges for these two categories separately:

  • Standalone pedometers (devices that only track your steps and nothing else) can be found for prices as low as $15. High-end pedometers can get up to $75; the average range for these devices is about $30.
  • Fitness watches are generally more expensive. The cheapest watches cost between $50 and $150, though the least you could expect to pay for a quality watch would be about $80. On the other end of the spectrum are high-end watches like the Garmin Enduro that cost upwards of $800. On average, you should typically spend between $125 and $300 on a fitness watch.

What to Look for in a Pedometer for Seniors

  • Watch vs Standalone: If you want a good deal or don’t care about connecting with your phone and getting multiple data points such as heart rate monitoring, get a standalone pedometer. If being able to track many things at once and read your data on your phone appeals to you, prepare to spend a bit more on a fitness watch!
  • Walking vs Running: pedometers will always be more accurate when you are running, because the vibrations from running are much easier for the pedometer to register. If you walk more than you run, consider getting a mid-tier fitness watch or a high-end standalone pedometer so that you can ensure the technology is sensitive enough to track every step without missing!

Conclusion: Pedometers for Senior Citizens

Pedometers are an excellent and simple way to stay attuned to your health and set fitness goals. They can be as simple as a small device you clip to your waistband or as complex as a cutting-edge fitness watch, but they all have one thing in common: helping you stay in shape.

Are there any pedometers you like that didn’t make our list? Do you have questions about one of the models we featured? Leave your comments below!


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