To increase the number of daily steps, it is advisable to wear a pedometer because knowing that physical activity is recorded would allow you to obtain better performance, without special effort.
- In France, it is recommended to do at least 30 minutes of brisk walking per day, at least 5 times per week, for an adult.
- The WHO recommends that adults aged 18-64 do at least 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week.
According to a meta-analysis published in the journal The Lancet in March, you would have to take between 6,000 and 8,000 steps a day to increase your life expectancy. In effect, this physical activity is good for your health in general. But if you’re having trouble sticking to it, wearing a pedometer can help.
More effortless steps with a pedometer
Indeed, a study published in the journal American Journal of Health Behavior claims that people who wear a pedometer would take more steps without any particular effort. In detail, during their experiments, the scientists discovered that participants who wore this tool took an average of 318 more steps per day compared to those who did not. And the results were the same when people couldn’t see how many daily steps they were taking.
“Human beings respond more to what is measured because if it is measured, it feels like it mattersbelieves Bill Tayler, one of the authors. When people go to buy [des montres connectées qui mesurent le nombre de pas], this will of course affect their behavior, they have chosen these devices in order to walk more. But it is useful for people to know that even without trying [de marcher plus]just by being aware that this activity is being tracked, their steps will increase“.
Smartphones have built-in pedometers
To compare the number of steps that the participants took in everyday life and those taken during the experiment, the researchers took the data collected by their mobile phones during the previous weeks. Indeed, some people do not know it, but many smartphones have built-in pedometers which therefore record the number of steps. This data is relatively reliable because most people often have their phone with them. “It was a bit of a sneaky way to get the data we needed“, explains Bill Tayler. Of course, the 90 participants had given their agreement to transmit this information.
Next, the scientists gave one group of participants a screenless pedometer while the other group had no special device. After two weeks, the researchers again took data from the participants’ cellphones and found that wearing a pedometer was associated with a higher number of steps.
Tracking your progress helps you improve
“Measurement and monitoring precede improvementexplains Christian Tadje, one of the researchers. If you want to improve something, for example […] a personal health goal, our study shows you should consider tracking your progress“.
In terms of physical activity, even small increases can be beneficial to health. The authors of the study therefore believe that their results can be useful for professionals or health establishments. Thus, this type of device could be recommended to patients who need it.