NEW-LIFESTYLES, Inc. is your source for the most accurate pedometers including the Yamax Digi-walker and the NEW LIFESTYLES NL-2000, NL-1000 and NL-800. With pedometers that are high quality and research validated, we set the standard in accuracy, reliability and longevity. Read the latest pedometer reviews and validations and access a bibliography of recent pedometer-related research.
Why use a pedometer or accelerometer?
Before answering this question, you must know what one of these devices does--and does not do. Their basic function is to count steps. Some of them, however, can be programmed to calculate distance, caloric expenditure, or physical activity intensity by using specific formulas. The distance formula is easy: number of steps x stride length = distance. Other calculations, however, are more complicated like caloric expenditure and physical activity intensity. The set of formulas or algorithms, used to calculate caloric expenditure and physical activity expenditure are often times unique to the company that produces the device. In some instances these algorithms are validated--compared to a standard--by exercise physiologists, so the devices can be used in research studies to measure physical activity volume and intensity. That, too, is why most of us use pedometers and accelerometers; we want to measure the amount and know the intensity of our physical activity so that we can lose weight, get in shape and be healthy.
The health benefits of physical activity are well documented and include reducing the risk of developing and dying from coronary heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, and high blood pressure. Moreover, these benefits can be achieved with at least 30 minutes of regular moderate intensity physical activity such as brisk walking. However, despite the obvious benefits that moderate intensity physical activity provides, the fact that 65% of the US population is overweight or obese, makes it quite clear that people are not getting the message and are not changing their sedentary behavior.
A quality accelerometer like the NEW-LIFESTYLES NL-2000, NL-1000 or NL-800 or a pedometer like the SW-200 DIGI-WALKER pedometer can provide the motivation to move by allowing you to continually monitor your progress. Couple a NEW-LIFESTYLES accelerometer or DIGI-WALKER pedometer with a recordkeeping system, like our Every Step Counts calendar and an accountability system--spouse, friend, personal trainer (sorry we don't sell these!), and you have the prescription for a successful 10,000 steps a day physical activity program.
Why use a NEW-LIFESTYLES accelerometer (piezoelectric pedometer) instead of a suspended lever arm pedometer?
There are three main reasons that one would benefit from using a NEW-LIFESTYLES accelerometer versus a pedometer. First, as stated previously, 65% of the US population is overweight or obese, and it is now documented that pedometers with suspended lever arms that go click, click--even the DIGI-WALKER pedometers--are not accurate on those that are overweight or obese. The NL-2000, NL-1000 and NL-800 accelerometers (also referred to as piezoelectric pedometers or silent counters) are the most accurate on those that are overweight and obese.
Second, benefits from physical actvity are maximized when the activity is performed at a moderate intensity. Unfortunately suspended lever arm pedometers, even the DIGI-WALKER pedometers, can not measure physical activity intensity. Measuring intensity of physical activity requires sensor mechanisms like those found in the NL-1000 accelerometer. The NL-1000 provides both number of steps and the total number of minutes spent doing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, which it calculates using a research validated algorithm unique to the device, i.e., no other pedometer brand uses this algorithm, not even the highly rated Omron HJ-112 pocket pedometer with its 2D (dual axis) sensor.(If a device has an omni-directional or multi-axial sensor, it requires a well-researched algorithm--a set of formulas--to crunch the acceleration data provided by those sensors. This is where many so-called smart pedometers fail. Companies take shortcuts and install simple filters on their pedometers. How will you know if this shortcut was used? Check the instructions for the device to see if a 3 or 4 second filter is mentioned.)
Thirdly, the NL-2000, NL-1000 and NL-800 also are more accurate at slower speeds than even the DIGI-WALKER pedometers. It is for these reasons that most researchers agree that the NEW-LIFESTYLES piezoelectric pedometers are the most accurate pedometers available--more accurate than even the DIGI-WALKER pedometers. One, however, can not generalize and say that all accelerometers fit into this category, as not all accelerometers use a piezoelectric system and not all accelerometers use validated algorithms. Many of the "experts" who are writing content online for pedometer reviews are generalizing and are misinforming their readers.One must have some knowledge and understanding of the inner workings of the devices and the validity of the algorithms used to compute outputs to determine how accurate and reliable the information provided by the devices really is. If you have any questions, please click Ask the Expert (Teresa Vollenweider).