Other Gadgets

How does a pedometer work?

| | Updated on: Feb 18, 2015

Starting out on a new fitness regime? You may have wanted to invest in a good pedometer, a device that measures the number of steps that you’ve walked, and calculate how many calories you may have burned. We’ve all heard of the popular ones, such as the ones from Garmin, Jawbone, Fitbit and TomTom. But how do these work?

The basic technology behind a pedometer consists of a sensor (mechanical or digital) that ‘counts’ steps based on how much the body shakes. A small ball or a similar contraption moves up and down when you swing your arm while walking (hence most of them are wrist-worn), reading the vibration levels from your feet, as the hit the ground. This mechanism may be complemented by internal gyroscopes, location sensors and other sensors that can give out accurate data, including the length of your strides. Needless to say, you can also ‘cheat’ your fitness tracker if you know what sensors are onboard.

Published on February 18, 2015

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