WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ACCELEROMETER AND A PEDOMETER?

The following are some of the most significant differences between accelerometers and pedometers:

  • Accelerometers measure vertical acceleration; pedometers simply respond to vertical acceleration.  The following animation will give you a better understanding of this difference:  http://www.new-lifestyles.com/MVPAmyth 
  • Accelerometers mechanisms generally, but not always, last longer than pedometers mechanisms.
  • Accelerometers, specifically the NL-2200, NL-2160, NL-2000, NL-1000. NL-800, are more forgiving in terms of placement and position, and therefore count better than pedometers on the overweight and obese.
  • Accelerometers are silent; pedometers go click-click (that's the suspended lever arm going up and down in response to your foot strikes).
  • High quality accelerometers use scientifically validated algorithms to do calculations.   In pedometers if the lever arm comes down and closes the circuit a step is counted.  Companies that don't want to invest in developing validated algorithms will put simple 3 or 4 second filters on their pedometers and accelerometers to reduce the number of false steps counted.  Devices with these filters can undercount activities of daily living dramatically, and since the algorithms used to calculate other features--intensity and caloric expenditure, etc.--are based on step count, the values obained must be suspect. 
  • Accelerometers are constantly sampling data.  Therefore, they require more battery power than pedometers.