How Does a Pedometer Help People Reach Fitness Goals? [Research]

How does a pedometer help people reach their fitness goals?

I use a Fitbit Ionic, which is more than a simple pedometer but any pedometer can be used to track and achieve fitness goals. Here are five ways a pedometer helps, according to research.

1. Pedometers force greater fitness awareness.

I love using the help of a pedometer to achieve fitness goals because simply wearing it makes me more aware of how active (or inactive) I am.

When I’ve been sitting around too long, the Fitbit calls out to me to get up and move around. Studies show that wearing a pedometer is associated with an increase in activity on a daily basis among a sedentary population. In turn, fitness goals come easier, including a drop in BMI.

That’s true in my case, too. I have a sedentary job. When I’m wearing my trusty pedometer, I get up and move more, including time on the elliptical machine.

2. Pedometers help you know when you’ve accomplished enough for the day.

It’s a good feeling when you’ve reached a step or calorie burn goal. Wearing a device that measures your activity lets you know when to celebrate. Importantly, the data is much more accurate than a casual guess.

Celebrating small victories brings a well-deserved sense of fulfillment, which creates a positive emotional loop. You’ll want to hit that daily goal again if you allowed yourself to feel good last time you hit it, unless, you’ve got a case of self-sabotage.

Celebrate! It’s a dopamine thing. Tap into the neuroscience of winning!

3. Pedometers help people reach fitness goals by inspiring greater motivation.

Harvard University reports that people who use pedometers take an average of 2000 more steps a day than non-pedometer users. This conclusion came as a result of reviewing 26 different studies on pedometer use.

Research reviews are particularly powerful because they synthesize data from multiple research projects and may invoke less bias on the part of the researchers.

4. Pedometers help people reach their fitness goals long-term.

When you wear a pedometer, your entire fitness future can change. One study that included more than 1000 adults over the age of 45 suggested pedometer use has long-term health benefits.

Pedometer users experience a boost in activity level that lasts 3-4 years. It’s not magic. The increase in awareness, motivation and accurate fitness data seems to have a genuine effect on our fitness choices.

To clarify, research participants used a pedometer for just 12 weeks and were still more active up to four years later.

5. Pedometers can improve health outcomes in cases of disease..

Physical activity boosts health outcomes with many diseases. Using a pedometer is a useful way to get there.

A study with COPD patients concluded:

Home pedometer assisted PA may be a useful and cheaper alternative to outpatient supervised exercise training programs in patients with COPD.

COPD patients experienced improved times in distance walking, better COPD assessment scores, as well as improved BMI and airflow obstruction.

How can pedometers help people reach their fitness goals?

The results seem clear! By increasing self-awareness, motivation, activity accuracy, and accountability, pedometers are second to none when it comes to achieving fitness goals.