[Pedometers for monitoring and improvement of the level of physical activity]

N H T ten Hacken, M H G de Greef
Nederlands Tijdschrift Voor Geneeskunde 2008 January 26, 152 (4): 193-7
Pedometers are cheap and easy to handle devices that have proven their accuracy to measure the number of steps taken during a time period (day or week). However, at lower walking speeds and if used by obese persons the accuracy of several pedometers decreases significantly. Pedometers are not able to record the intensity of daily physical activity. In addition, the number of steps depends on age, gender, body weight and season. Nevertheless, monitoring of daily physical activity with a pedometer may be an effective method to enhance the daily physical activity of selected subgroups. For instance, subjects with an increased risk of obesity or hypertension, sedentary patients with diabetes mellitus type 2, patients with coronary heart disease and cancer patients can more easily be stimulated to become physically active and meet healthy living standards. Pedometers combined with existing effective counseling methods may be an effective strategy for many health care providers for adoption and enhancement of healthy lifestyles by sedentary patients.

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