Pedometer advice needed

The title says it all. I’m going to buy Mrs. Giraffe a pedometer for her birthday to use while jogging, but I have a few problems:

  1. Until recently, I didn’t know what a pedometer was.

  2. Even after I found out what it was, I assumed there had to be some sort of wheel in contact with the ground and that the runner using one would probably look like they were walking a very small dog.

  3. I’ve finally learned that we live in a glorious technological age wherein pedometers need not make physical contact with the ground. However, I still don’t know what features a runner would want, what brands are good, where to buy one, etc.

Clearly, I need help. Help!

I have one that I bought for the heck of it and to find out how much I walk at work. They are digital now but at one time there was a small pendelum inside that would register with each pace.You have to set your walking or running pace. I measured how many paces it took for me to cover 30 feet and then set the distance in the pedometer. When you mount it on your hip the device will sway a bit as you walk and that is how it calculates the distance. Some models have more features than others and that seems to affect the price. I bought the middle of the road meter and it was in the 25.00 range. Hope this helps a bit.

The wife bought us a pair of pedometers from Sharper Image that are really neat. Alarms, programmable for everything under the sun, all the bells and whistles. I think she paid around $36 each.

As a side note, we each walked over 12 miles a day at Comic-Con this year! :smiley:

How about a Garmin Forerunner instead? It’s a GPS receiver designed for training. Pedometers count the number of steps using a vibration sensor, so the distance and speed readings are only estimates. GPS receivers give you actual measurements of distance and speed. Disadvantages are cost (list price $114.27) and battery life (Forerunner 101 uses up two AAA batteries in 15 hours; the more expensive Forerunner 201 has a built-in rechargearble battery ).

I just got a Garmin Foretrex 101 to use on my bike. This model has the same form factor as the Forerunner but different software, more suitable for navigation than training. So far I’m very happy with it.

I’m also curious where to buy one of these. I think it would be great motivation to actually get out there and walk instead of sitting here thinking about it.

And… I REFUSE to get one from McDonalds.

Just make sure not to buy a pedophile by accident. I did that once. My bad, I admit it. Took me forever to live that one down.

I’m going to second the Garmin. For what you pay, you get an awful lot of features, and you don’t need to calibrate. I’m a rat’s ass hair away from buying one myself.

I don’t know how much you’re willing to spend, but if the $100 neighborhood suits you, screw the pedometer and go for the Garmin.

I’ve got a cheapie Sportline 360 pedometer that I got at Sports Authority. I love it! I think it was only $20, and it includes features that’ll measure your steps for both running and walking, plus a timer, alarm, etc.

For what it’s worth, here’s a link to a site that has a bunch of pedometers on it and provides you information on where you can find them: Pedometers.

Keep in mind that the cheaper pedometers aren’t precisely accurate, and you might have to replace them every couple of years depending upon how hard you use them. They’ll give you a good idea of approximately how many steps you’ve taken, but if your wife wants precision, a pedometer with GPS is the way to go; however, those cost about $200, if I recall correctly.

I third the Garmin Forerunner 201. I bought mine 6 months or so ago from (here’s the link to the product). For $127, you get a damn cool gadget that’s more accurate then a pedometer ever will be. It can display both distance and pace, which is useful if you’re trying to up your speed.

I’ve been pretty impressed with it–the interface is good, it provides many useful functions, and the software to download the data on it to your PC is pretty cool (it keeps high-resolution data for your most recent runs, so it can show you elevation profiles, speed, maps, etc.)…

Giraffe, how “gadgety” is your wife? Also, how serious is she about running?

Although I’ve run several marathons, I’ve never been overly concerned with precise distance, but a lot of runners are. Also, is she really into speed and exact timing? If so, she’d probably want something like a Gamin (in fact, after hearing so much about it, I want one of those things, even though I used to be fine with my cheap-o pedometer! I love new running toys. :D).

She’s not super gadgety, and she’s not a hard-core runner. However, that Garmin unit looks incredibly cool just in terms of features (I love the idea of the electronic running buddy, whose position is shown relative to yours – how cool is that?) So even if she doesn’t need the precision, she might like the features. (Plus, then I’d get to play with it…) The Garmin is within my budget, but of course if something cheaper works just as well, then that’s more money I can spend on other stuff, like jewelry.

Thanks for all the opinions and comments so far. Keep 'em coming!

OMG, I so want one of these now. ARGH, damn gadget lust.

geez, and I just bought that rice cooker and am now looking at pressure cookers too. SDMB is really tough on my wallet…

Sorry for the hijack, but…

That is a good stance. The PoS they hand out is, well, just that. I have worn the one my mom got (with her wonderful salad value meal) the last three times I have walked the 2.2 mile circuit* around my “block.” The read out has been 4710, 2575, and 13 steps.

Yeah, real helpful.

*I was using this to calibrate my own steps/mile ratio so I could use it on walks for which I don’t know the distance.

OK, I went ahead and ordered this. Thanks to all who posted with advice, especially scr4 for making me realize I didn’t want what I thought I wanted. I think she’ll really love this.

I have a pedometer. I aim to walk 10,000 steps per day, which is what some doctors in Australia recommend to reduce the risks of heart disease, high blood pressure etc. It’s Sunday evening now and today’s total is 11,943 steps. :slight_smile:

I got one from Maccy Ds. (Had to order a gross ‘healthy’ salad with a chemical-tasting ranch dressing so full of sugar and fat that I don’t know why they’re bothering with their new image. Also, I had to walk down the street with this really lame-assed pink and orange box with big pictures of a woman jogging on it, which was embarrassing.)

Anyway, it’s fine - just counts your steps, nothing more. It was counting double when it was on my hip, and only counting half when it was in the middle of my waist, but just off-centre and it works fine. I walk an average of 3,200 steps to work and back again each day. I clock up just under 10,000 steps a day.

I had one of these for a while – well, it sounds like it is the same outfit that is promoting them. My previous school bought some for staff to use, but I had to give it back when I left.
I used to regularly get 14000 steps a day and one day clocked up 4500 in an hour and a half of teaching.