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
The Best Pedometers for Seniors
1. Best Pedometer for Seniors (Overall): FitBit Charge 4
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.
2. Best Easy to Use Pedometer for Seniors: Garmin Forerunner 35
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.
3. Best Pedometers for Walking for Seniors: Omron HJ-112 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!
4. Best Cheap Pedometer for Seniors: Realalt 3DTrisport Walking Pedometer
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.
5. Best Pedometer for Sedentary Seniors: Fitbit Inspire 2
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.
Buying Guide: How to Choose a Pedometer for Seniors
Major Brands of Pedometers
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:
What to Look for in a Pedometer for Seniors
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!