In a recent study done at Indiana University found people who wore a pedometer daily, walked 16% more then they did prior to not wearing it. I think most people are visual learners and like me, we love a reward system. When you visually see how many steps you take, or how many calories you burn a day right in front of you it's different than hearing it or not even thinking twice about it.
How many people a day count how many steps they take? I would never! That's why there's gadgets out there to help you. I live in New York and I walk everywhere like most people and I would never even guess how many steps I take from the minute I wake up to the minute I go to bed at night. It shocked me when I saw I walked 15,840 feet (3 miles) which is excluding my steps from actually working out/running. It's rewarding to see that number and having a personal travel coach that tells you when you do a great job and to continue the good work.
I don't personally agree with some of the gadgets out there that tell you how many calories you burn because some of the wrist bands for example may undersestimate effort for instance during a cycling class because your arms are more stationary. But you can also overestimate the calories burned if you're typing on your keyboard all day.
You want to be as consistent and accurate as possible. I mean it's your body, your hard work and effort you put in so don't lie to yourself or read inaccurrate results. Go for the gadgets that have heart rate monitors built in or the step trackers. Most trackers and apps have settings that can nudge you if you've been sitting behind your desk for too long or you haven't hit your targeted goal. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise notes that during their study, the participants took an additional 1,500 steps per day when wearing a pedometer, they saw the visual reward of their results and strived for more.
The Fit Bit Zip shown on the left is perfect for bracelet haters. Clip this tiny tracker to your bra or pocket for a less obvious way to watch your every step ($60 fitbit.com)
Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband: tracks steps, distance, calories burned and monitors your sleep ($99.95 fitbit.com)
Polar FT80 monitors your heart rate and tells you exactly how long to rest between sets ($320 polar.com)
Jambone Up: syncs to your phone, slick streamlined design ($130, jawbone.com)
Nike FuelBand: a colored meter shows how close you are to your daily "fuel points" goal