Posted by Ron Hall on 28th Jun 2017

Pedometer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Pedometer FAQ

How many miles is 10,000 steps?

Around 5 miles.  However, it depends on your stride.  If you're stride (heel to heel) is 2.2 feet (normal),  then (around) 5 miles is the correct answer.  It obviously depends on the stride of your step.   Any way you look at it... 10,000 is a good daily workout - regardless of your stride length.

Why do I need a pedometer??  I can get exercise by walking or jogging without a pedometer. 

"You can't control what you can't measure".  That "saying"  was made famous in the business world -- but it applies to many other areas of life as well.  The pedometer allows the wearer to measure activity level.  This unique ability to provide a specific measurement (steps, miles, etc), allows you to set specific 'goals'....and goal setting is the key to success.  

Once you begin wearing a pedometer/step counter and set a daily goal for yourself, you'll find (like millions of others) that by having a goal - and a device that measures your progress - you'll be more active.   The pedometer actually provides the motivation to be more active - which is a key to any long term fitness program.  The small investment in a pedometer is well worth the 'motivation'!

If your organization uses - or plans on using - pedometers as a wellness activity - be sure to recommend this page to your participants - or link.  It can answer many of the most common questions!

What should my goal be?? How many 'steps per day'?

It depends.  How active are you now?? How is your general health?   You should start out by wearing the pedometer on a 'normal' day to determine your present activity level (steps per day).  That figure becomes your 'baseline'. Then (provided your in good health), begin increasing your goal modestly.  As an example:  If you find  you  presently take only 3,500 steps per day (which is probably the average), you may want to create a goal of 5,000 -- and after attaining 5,000 for several weeks - then, increase to 7,500.....then onto 10,000....and beyond!

A great deal has been written about '10,000 steps per day' as a general goal-- but, again, it depends on your present activity level and health.   10,000 steps per day would be the general equivalent of walking (around) 5 miles.  (It's not as easy as you think).   If you think you walk that much now... you're probably wrong.  The average person takes only 3,000 to 4,000 steps per day....and many take much less! (They need a pedometer!) Here' a good link for more info on how to get started.

What's best... a multi-function pedometer or a simple step counter?

Strictly a personal decision.  But, one thing to keep in mind.... you want the pedometers main function to be  a 'fitness tool'.  If it's too complicated -- or too 'multi-functioned', you may find that you wear it for other reasons (listening to the radio, time-piece, stop watch, etc).  The primary focus must always be 'fitness' - therefore, regardless of the features, make sure you buy it -- and wear it for that reason.

Also....pedometers that are loaded with additional features such as 'back-lit' screens -  radios -  or talking functions - can eat up your battery much faster.  Replacing the battery is no problem in most pedometers - but, you'll find yourself replacing much more often when you have a pedometer with these features. 

For younger (school aged) customers, we recommend the basic step counter. It keeps the focus entirely on 'steps' - and fitness and is very easy to use. 

If you're participating in a "10,000 steps per day" program (or want to), the basic step counter pedometer (our Model SD-01,  SD-01T, or T1) are great choices!!!

For Corporate Wellness Programs - or large group fitness activities, we recommend the step counter pedometer. 

How much weight will I lose if I walk 10,000 steps per day??

Increasing your physical activity level will burn more calories -- and burning more calories is vital to any weight loss program.  But, it's impossible to predict the actual weight loss because the pedometer cannot control your eating habits.   One thing for sure... if you burn more calories than you 'take in', you'll lose weight - over time.   The pedometer will help you increase your burn rate.   Keep in mind that the magic of a pedometer is the 'motivation' that it provides the wearer.  Motivation to be more active is absolutely necessary to a long term fitness / weight loss program.  Some feel that an aggressive weight loss walking program would require (around) 12,000 to 14,000 steps per day.  It's important, however, to set attainable goals!  Keep that in mind when you're establishing your goals!

How many calories will I burn if I walk 10,000 steps per day??

Around 300 to 400 calories.  But, it depends.  If you're walking on 'flat' ground - or around the office, then it could be less.  If you're walking up hills or hiking, possibly more.  It really depends on the 'type' of walking.  

I decided to start walking 10,000 steps per day.  Any specific suggestions that would help??

Yes... first, make sure your in good health.  It's always best to consult with a physician before you start any new physical activity program.  After that.. here are a few things to consider:  

  • Good Shoes!  I personally wear New Balance  running shoes -- and have for years.  They've served me well.  Regardless of the brand,  a good fit, support, and cushioning are important.  You may also want to consider adding a cushioned insole.  They provide additional support and cushioning.
  • Good socks!  Again, cushioning is important -- and the new materials provide great comfort. 
  • Obviously, a pedometer.  It's the only way to measure your absolute necessity!  Don't waste your money on the cheap (less than $5 for a single unit) pedometer.  You can spend just a few dollars more and get a great - high quality unit from
  • If you will be walking a night... a reflective vest or reflective band is very important.  White/light colored clothing helps - but, there's nothing like reflective accessories. 
  • Wear layered clothing.  You'll start to 'heat up' as you walk - and you want to stay as comfortable as possible.  If you stay comfortable, you'll have a better chance of hitting your 10,000 goal.
  • Find a partner.  You'll be doing them a big favor.  The time goes by much faster when you have someone to talk to during your walk.  Dogs 'work fine' -- but they're not much for conversation.
  • 10,000 steps is a lot of walking!  When you start your program, consider splitting your walk up into smaller increments.  Possibly... 3,000 in the morning... 3,000 during the day.. and 3,000 in the afternoon/evening.   If you've led a sedentary existence, you'll find that 10,000 steps per day is no easy goal.....but, it's very 'do-able'.
  • If your overall objective is to lose weight, don't expect immediate results.  We're all conditioned to expect immediate results with everything we do -- but, sensible weight loss is different.  Increasing the calories that you burn through more exercise -- and reducing your calorie intake will result in weight loss... but, it takes time. 
  • Finally... enjoy it!   Every step you take is a step forward to improved fitness.

How long does the battery last in a pedometer???

All batteries are not created equal -- but, 1 to 2 years would probably be a good general answer.  Most pedometers use small 'watch type' batteries that are engineered to last a long time.  Replacement batteries are very easy to find in virtually any retail store that carries electronics/cameras/watches....or website (of course).   In our VKRfitness series of batteries, you can replace the battery without special tools.  It takes just a few minutes - or less!  Be careful when selecting a pedometer...some of the 'cheaper' models require special tools to replace the battery! (We don't carry those!)

If you purchase a pedometer that has energy consuming accessories - such as a radio or light - you can expect a much shorter battery life.

Many of our pedometers have a feature that extends battery life considerably --- Automatic on/off.  The pedometer will turn itself 'off' when idle over 5 minutes  - then, turn back 'on' when it detects motion.  This premium feature extends the life of the battery by 2 or 3 times! 

I know a pedometer works for walking, but does it work when I run or jog???

Yes.  Almost all pedometers work while walking, jogging or running.  Those that measure mileage sometimes have a "Run" option - which increases the 'stride length' calculation a bit to compensate for the longer stride while running or jogging.  This calculation change allows the pedometer to measure miles more accurately.  

Why do some pedometers require that I enter my weight???

If you're pedometer measures 'calories', it will probably require you to enter your weight.  Your weight is an important consideration in the 'calories burned' calculation.

Where should I wear my pedometer?

Most pedometers are designed to be worn on the waistband - aligned (approximately) with the crease line in your shorts/slacks.  That would be (about) 1/2 way between your 'center' - and your side.  Either side will work -- but, our testing indicates there is a very slight accuracy advantage on the right side - but it's statistically insignificant.  The pedometer should be worn as straight as possible -- not leaning forward, back or side-to-side.  If the pedometers is will affect the accuracy of the mechanism that counts yours steps.

Pedometers are equipped with belt/waistband clips -- but we strongly recommend adding a safety strap to avoid loss  - and damage due to dropping.  Pedometers are very durable - but, a fall on a hard surface can cause damage.

How does a pedometer actually count my steps???

Most pedometers have a small weighted 'arm' mechanism that is suspended by a small spring that moves up and down as you walk.  It is specifically designed to be sensitive to your walking motion - and moves up and down as you walk.  Each time the 'arm' moves up and down, a step is counted.    While that sounds very simple, the technical components within the pedometer have become very sophisticated....and the accuracy of pedometers has improved dramatically over the years.

I broke the belt clip on my pedometer.  Can I get replacement parts???

If you purchased your pedometer from, we will gladly provide replacement parts.  In fact, belt clips for our VKRfitness series of pedometers are replaced free of charge during the first 2 years of ownership.  After that, there is a charge of $2.00 + Shipping. Simply notify us via email and we'll verify your order - then email you a link to make your purchase - if it's beyond the 2 year warranty period.  Very easy!

Will a pedometer work for bike riding???' designed specifically for walking, jogging, or running.

How do I know I'm getting a good - accurate - pedometer???

Like everything else you purchase --- you get what you pay for.  If you only pay a few dollars for a pedometer - you should not expect a great deal of quality or accuracy.  There is an entire category of pedometers that are made to be used as  'give-a-way' items at trade shows - or promotional items.  Obviously, they are very inexpensive.  If you're purchasing pedometers for that specific purpose and they are not intended to serious use - then, the 'cheaper the better'.  However, if you are purchasing for a wellness program for you - or your organization - be certain to focus only on higher quality pedometers.  Your wellness/fitness program will be negatively affected by using poor quality pedometers.  Using a poor quality pedometer can discourage the participants by producing inaccurate results.  (We only sell the highest quality products at don't sell the promotional quality units).  Think of it this way....would you buy a cheap watch that didn't keep the correct time?? Of course not.  The exact same principle applies to pedometers. 

We have tested many pedometers - and we have found that the poor quality pedometers normally have these characteristics: 

1.  Under counts - or - over counts steps (usually overcounts) resulting in very poor accuracy.

2.  Short battery life

3.  Belt/Waistband clip breaks easily

4.  Poor warranty - or no warranty.

5.  No 'false step' sensor to filter non-step motions.

All of our pedometers carry - at least - a 1-year warranty.   We don't think you'll see any other pedometer on the market with this kind of warranty!  This speaks volumes about quality and accuracy of these units.  The accuracy level of all of our pedometers is rated "very high"....and all have 'false step' sensors to filter non-step motion.   

Are pedometers waterproof???

No.  The clamshell style pedometers do a very good job of 'resisting' water -- but, they are not designed to be submerged.  However, if you do drop your pedometer in the water - try letting it dry out for a few days.  We have seen many cases where water soaked pedometers have come 'back to life' after a thorough drying.

My Pedometer counts steps perfectly - but, the mileage is wrong.  Is there something wrong with my pedometer???

Probably not.  If the pedometer is counting steps properly - its working fine.  The mileage is determined by the stride length that you entered when setting up your pedometer.   If the mileage is 'off' - simply adjust the stride length setting accordingly. 

My pedometer calculates Calories Burned in addition to steps and miles.  How accurate is the Calories Burned figure???

There are many considerations in the 'calories burned' calculation - and the pedometer does a very good job of 'estimating' these considerations.  It is not - and not intended to be - and exact figure.  As an example -- the pedometer does not know if you're walking up hill - down hill - trail walking - or on a flat smooth surface.  All of these things affect the amount of energy you expend while walking.  It does - however - give you a very good estimate of the calories that you burn while walking/jogging/running.

Why are pedometer with the clamshell case design considered the best?

The clamshell case protects the pedometer display - and the button(s).  Since you wear a pedometer all day, this protection is very important.  Pedometers that do not have the clamshell design have the screen and buttons exposed...and that often creates issues. 

Here's a example of something that happens quite regularly with pedometers that do not have a clamshell case.  

Let's say, for example, you have accumulated 5,000 steps on your pedometer through mid-day. find yourself leaning up against a desk or chair - and the RESET button on the pedometer comes into contact with the desk/chair and is depressed - accidentally.  You have now wiped out your 5,000 steps - and the display reads zero.  Very depressing to see all of your work erased.

Because the clamshell case protects the buttons from accidents - you don't have to worry about this type of problem.

The same 'desk/chair' scenario could have also damaged the LCD screen.  Again...the clamshell case protects the screen from 'accidents'.

Overall...the clamshell design is much preferred.

My Phone has an app that tracks my steps/miles and more.  Why would I need a pedometer?

The fitness app on your phone is much better than nothing.  However, like most of us, the app can 'get lost' with all of the other apps on our phones - and we often forget to check our fitness/walking progress.  The simple pedometer - on the other hand - has as it's sole purpose - counting your steps.  When you wear your pedometer it becomes a constant reminder that you need to focus on your step goal each and every day.   You'll find that you check your pedometer much more often that your app on our phone.

Where can I purchase a good quality pedometer?, of course.