How do I Choose the Best Wrist Pedometer?

Solomon Branch
Solomon Branch
Pedometers measure how many steps a person takes.
Pedometers measure how many steps a person takes.

If you want to choose the best wrist pedometer, first decide what you want to use it for. A basic pedometer will keep track of steps taken, but many more have advanced features such as a watch, calorie counter, and heart-rate monitor. If you are going to use it in inclement weather, finding one that is waterproof or water-resistant is necessary. Other key factors to consider are accuracy, readability and ease of use.

Probably the most common wrist pedometer is one that is built into a watch. They often have other functions included, such as heart-rate monitors, calorie counters, and body-fat-percentage calculators. Some also include distance calculators and sensitivity adjustors that make it easier to calibrate. In addition to the benefits of multiple functions, the advantage of this type of wrist pedometer is that you don’t need an extra piece of equipment.

Many pedometers are built to strap onto the waist. As a variant of that, some wrist pedometers have a counter that attaches to the waist, and the data is picked up wirelessly on a wrist watch or monitor. An advantage of this style of pedometer is that putting the pedometer on the waist has a tendency to make the measurements of the number of steps taken more accurate. The wrist watch simply makes it easier to read. These can be fairly expensive, but are popular.

Whatever style wrist pedometer you choose, the most important component is the sensitivity of the pedometer. One very common complaint about wrist pedometers is that they don’t accurately measure the steps taken and over compensate for the length of stride. The best way to verify if a wrist pedometer has this issue is to check reviews either in magazines or online. Many groups who use wrist pedometers, such as those in walking groups, will also typically have extensive knowledge as well.

If a pedometer scratches or breaks easily, it won’t matter how accurate it is, so make sure it is durable and well-built. The same goes for the display, because if it is hard to read or not clear in the dark or in daylight, it won’t be helpful to have the pedometer. Another common issue is that some wrist pedometers are not so easy to set or figure out how to use. If you can’t figure out how it or a particular setting works, it can be frustrating. Checking reviews or asking sales people about these issues will help you find the best wrist pedometer.

Discussion Comments


The fitbit flex is shockingly inaccurate. Based on multiple tests I performed with the device and other wrist-worn pedometers, the flex consistently missed 20-30 percent of my steps.


I've been using a waist pedometer but it doesn't work well. The number of steps aren't accurate because it misses some steps and sometimes counts one step as multiple. It's such a disappointing product.

I want to get a wrist pedometer now but I'm afraid I'll have the same issue and I don't want to waste my money if that's the case.

Is anyone using a wrist pedometer right now and likes the product? If so, what kind of wrist pedometer do you have?


@Ivan83 - Good idea. I got one of those pedometer watches a few years back and it helped me to loose about 15 pounds. I realized that on most days I was only taking about 5000 steps. Once I became conscious of it and made a real effort to get out and moving more the extra pounds came off really easily. I did not need to join a gym or drastically change what I was eating. I just needed to walk more. Who would have thought it could be so easy?


This year for Christmas my wife gave me a pedometer watch. It is just like any other digital watch, but it keeps track of my steps as I move around.

My goal for this new year is to loose a few extra pounds and I think keeping track of my steps is a good place to start.


I used to use a wrist pedometer until I found a really tiny one that just clips to my shorts. I don't notice it at all when I run. When I had the wrist pedometer it would start to get sweaty and uncomfortable when I started getting into the fourth and fifth miles.

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    • Pedometers measure how many steps a person takes.
      By: Picture-Factory
      Pedometers measure how many steps a person takes.