Friday, August 16, 2013

Pedometers and Their Uses

A pedometer is used to count the number of steps a person takes. It can be attached to the waistband and it is very easy to use. Many types of pedometer are available in the market. Most of them work on the same pattern. They detect the movement of hips as a person walks and it records each movement to count the number of steps.

Accuracy of Pedometer:

The accuracy of a pedometer depends on the walking speed of the person. If the person is walking at a speed of about 8km/h then it gives an accuracy of more than 96%. If the walking speed is less than 8km/h, then accuracy is reduced. At a speed of 3-4km/h, the accuracy can be reduced to 75%. Actually, when we walk slowly, the movement of the hips is reduced and this motion becomes less than that required for the mechanical pedometer to detect any motion. So, at higher speeds, accuracy is better and it gets reduced at lower speeds. At medium speeds, it works fine.

Working of a Pedometer:

Pedometers can be classified into two different types on the basis of their internal mechanism. The first type is the mechanical pedometer which has a spring and a bar attached to it. Whenever you walk and take steps, each step makes the spring to move in such a way that an electric circuit is closed and a step is recorded. The other type uses a piezoelectric cell in its mechanism. There is a beam. The cell is connected to one end and a weight is attached to the other end. When the user walks, his movement applies pressure on the cell. This results in inducing a voltage. This voltage induced is compared to a specific value which is taken as a standard voltage for each step.

The pedometers which use piezoelectric cells in their functioning are a suitable option for those who are overweight and walk very slowly. These piezoelectric pedometers are more sensitive for detection of very slow walks and steps. So, if you have a habit of walking very slow, then they are a recommended option for you.

Mechanical pedometers can be worn by those who have a habit of walking fast. They will record all the steps and they are recommended if you like brisk walking. A mechanical pedometer can be a very good companion in your morning walk. For those people who don't like to use pedometers on the waist can use them on the socks. It will not affect the accuracy and it will give the same pattern which is given when it is used on the waistband.

How to test the pedometer:

For testing the pedometer, set it to zero and walk a known number of steps carefully. If it gives the same number of steps, it means it is reliable. A tolerance of 10% should not be considered bad. Typical mechanical pedometers have an accuracy of more than 90%. To test it in a different way, compare its results with the results of other pedometers.

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