Our Top Pick for 2018: Omron HJ-112 Digital Pocket Pedometer
Read our full review.
Between working enough to pay the bills (but not too much to forget to play), caring for friends and family (maybe all of your incapable coworkers too) AND all the constant media hounding of diets (low-carb, low-fat, juicing, gluten-free) you are ALSO supposed to manage to get in 30 minutes of heart pounding activity a day. Doesn’t your doctor realize you expend enough energy keeping track of your kids and your finances? Don’t they realize you break a sweat just thinking about work?
Take heart, all my hard working fellow humans. There is a natural, more organic way to begin incorporating that dreaded exercise into your day. We are here to help make that happen without burning a hole in your wallet (or your personal time). One of the simplest ways to increase your daily movement is through walking. On average, Americans take 3,000 – 4,000 steps a day. Medical professionals recommend 10,000 a day in order to reap health benefits (hey, at least we’re a third of the way there). The easiest way to increase your steps is to take note of them through the use of a pedometer. Keep reading to see more about which model is the best on the market today and how to purchase one for personal use.
Let’s Have a Quick Look of Our Top 4 Picks:
|Omron HJ-112 Digital Pocket Pedometer||6,225 Reviews||$76.94||Buy on Amazon|
|CSX Walking 3D Pedometer Activity Fitness Tracker, White||780 Reviews||Currently not available||Buy on Amazon|
|Pedometer for Walking. Back-to-Basics Step Counter. Perfect Fitness/Exercise Tool.30 Day Memory....||630 Reviews||$22.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Omron HJ-321 Tri-Axis Alvita Pedometer, Black||2,053 Reviews||$17.99||Buy on Amazon|
#1. Omron HJ-112 Digital Pocket Pedometer
We begin with our number one pick the Omron HJ-112 pocket pedometer. The Omron JJ-112 is a dual axis pedometer. The device can count your steps as long as it is laying either horizontally or vertically on your waist or in your pocket. It cannot, however, lie on its face or back in relation to the ground and be relied upon to accurate count your steps. This concept could be a little confusing for those of us who don’t understand how pedometers work in the first place. Allow us to break it down a bit before we continue.
The first pedometers counted steps using a swinging pendulum inside the device that “counted” steps by causing a gear to advance one position and move a hand around a dial. The pendulum swung each time a person took a step as it was affixed to the waist and shifted with an individual’s movements. More modern pedometers use a metal pendulum that is wired into an electronic counting circuit. These devices display step count on an LCD screen and can convert to miles or kilometers. Sophisticated pedometers, some of which we will explore in this review, work entirely electronically using microchip accelerometers. These devices tend to be more accurate and longer lasting.
The Omron HJ-112 falls into the category of electronic pedometers. This little gadget not only counts your steps but also tracks what it labels as “aerobic steps” or “brisk steps” separately than “regular steps.” If you are looking for a pedometer that can distinguish between walking and running then this is the model for you. The aerobic function kicks in when you walk or run more than 60 steps per minute and you continue for ten minutes or more. The Omron HJ-112 will continue to record this as aerobic time unless you stop for more than a minute. However, it will start back up again once you begin moving. At the end of the day not only can you review how much time you spent in aerobic walking/running activity, but you can also read your total steps for the day. The Omron HJ-112 resets to zero each day at midnight and can store up to seven days of information in its memory. In addition to step count, the Omron HJ-112 can also calculate distance travelled and calories and fat grams burned.
The device itself is small measuring .6″ x 2.1″ x 1.4″. It comes in just one color – gray – and looks an awful lot like the pagers we used to carry around in the pre-cell phone era. The display is digital with four buttons to navigate settings.
On Amazon.com, the Omron HJ-112 comes with the pedometer itself along with a lithium battery (replaceable), a holder, a strap and belt clip and an instruction manual. 87% of user reviews give the Omron HJ-112 a four to five star review. Users also frequently state that this model is fast, easy and convenient to use. Users have placed the pedometer in their shirt pocket and bag just as much as around their waist and have reported good accuracy. They state the Omron HJ-112 is sensitive and light weight making it one of the most accurate models they have worn. Using your Amazon Prime membership you can purchase this device for just under $64.
Please note: Omron recently replaced the popular HJ-112 model with a newer device. Therefore, though you can still purchase this model on many websites, the HJ-112 has been discontinued by the manufacturer! PedometerUSA.com indicates the equivalent is the Omron Alvita Ultimate Pedometer. For more information on this pedometer, see the link below listed in the references section. Additionally, reviews indicate a small screwdriver is needed to replace the batteries which last approximately six months.
#2. CSX Walking 3D Pedometer
Our number two pick is the CSX Walking 3D Pedometer Activity Tracker. This little guy does not use a pendulum design but a more advanced tri-axis sensor technology. It can measure your steps sitting vertically, horizontally OR laying flat. Advertisement for the CSX states it can even count your steps from inside your pocket or a handbag. To improve accuracy and avoid counting sudden movements as steps taken, the CSX does not begin to record until 10 steps have been taken.
The CSX measures not only your daily step count but also your distance travelled (in miles or kilometers) and calories burned. You can even set it to specify your stride length and weight for even greater precision.
Additionally, the CSX allows you to set a daily step target which will notify you when you’ve reached your goal. On the display is an activity bar that indicates how much of your goal you have already reached and how much farther you have to go. When you have accomplished what you set out to the CSX will notify you with a flashing LED and a beep. This may seem like a small feature but for those of us who need visual recognition and daily (maybe hourly!) motivation, this can be a real help.
Seven days of activity is stored in its memory allowing you to review the progress you’ve made throughout the week. A digital clock can be set to read in 12 or 24 hour display formats. Four buttons around the center display allow for navigation of settings and memory. The CSX automatically resets each day at midnight. The CSX measures 3″ x 1.3″ x .5″ and weighs a single, tiny ounce. Included batteries are lithium metal.
Included in the packaging for the CSX Walking 3D Pedometer is a detachable clip, a strap, a battery and instructions. An 18 months limited warranty is available through the manufacturer. Any defects or malfunctions will be replaced with a new device or a full refund within 18month of the purchase date. On the manufacturer’s website, csxpro.com, a detailed video can walk you through step by step (pun intended) setup of a brand new device. You can also download a PDF form of instructions through the website.
Additionally, when purchasing the CSX, you can download an eBook “Walk Yourself Fitter” by Patrick Dale (an ex-marine, fitness trainer and author!). If you are new to the walking game, the eBook includes plans in how to start up and gradually increase your steps until you reach an optimum goal. The eBook also includes support for healthy eating and avoiding injuries.
On Amazon.com user reviews give the CSX Walking 3d Pedometer a four or five star rating 81% of the time. Users report the CSX is extremely accurate and that customer service with the manufacturer is excellent. Users who have owned different pedometers in the past state they prefer the CSX over all of them. At the writing of this article, Amazon prime members could acquire the white CSX at $19.99 – down from $42.99.
#3. OneTweak Couples’ Concept Pedometer
If the first two pedometers we’ve outlined seemed like a bit much and you are looking for something just as accurate but with less fuss, our next model might be the one for you.
The OneTweak Couples’ Concept Pedometer is our third place pick. The OneTweak also uses Tri Axis technology to more accurately count steps. The OneTweak can count steps when it’s lying flat, horizontally or vertically. This pedometer appears much simpler in its layout than others. Even the tagline on the product on Amazon.com boasts “low on fancy, high on quality.”
Like others in its class, the OneTweak can compute distance travelled, calories burned and time spent in activity. You can also input daily goals and weight for a more personalized experience. The display is digital and has three buttons on the side of the screen to navigate through modes and settings. Unlike other models we have reviewed, the OneTweak Couples’ Concept Pedometer can hold 30 days worth of memory. If you are looking to gather data and track progress over the long term, the OneTweak is the pedometer for you.
Please note: the OneTweak Couples’ Concept Pedometer specifically states that is counts your stride length. This is not to be confused with a single step. As with all models, you will want to be sure to read the instructions about calibrating your pedometer to your exact specifications. You will want to pay particular attention to the use of the terms “stride” and “step.” Some instructions use the two terms interchangeably and refer to the length of your step from right heel to left heel, or right toe to left toe. However, stride length can also measure the distance between two successive placements of the same foot (or two step lengths). Read your directions to make sure you are accurately understand how your pedometer computes distance!
OneTweak Couples’ Concept Pedometer comes in two styles: black and pearl white. As far as size and weight go, there are no specifics listed on either Amazon.com or OneTweak.com. However, the websites do offer photos of the device held in hand for reference. Amazon lists the shipping weight at 1 ounce so you can safely assume that the OneTweak easily fits on your waistband or in a pocket.
As of the writing of this article, the black OneTweak model was available on Amazon.com for $19.99 – regularly priced at $49.99 – through its Prime Membership. The white OneTweak model could be purchased for $22.99. Included with the device is a clip-on holder, lanyard, battery, and user manual and warranty registry. Warranty extends for 18 months for manufacturing defects. 86% of Amazon reviews give the OneTweak a four to five star review. Many users comment on how easy the device is to set up and how clear the instruction manual is. On the manufacturer’s website, you can download the quick start guide and register your pedometer. If you require additional support, the website offers a support section that answers a few standard questions and gives you an email address to contact if your problem is not resolved through the information already given to you.
#4. Omron HJ-321 Tri-Axis Alvita Pedometer
Last, but certainly not least, is the Omron HJ-321 Tri Axis Pedometer. This little guy tracks your steps, distance walked and calories burned. Steps are measured at both “regular” and “brisk” settings. The Omron HJ-321 can be positioned flat, vertically or horizontally as it uses an accelerometer to keep track of your movement.
Please remember that all pedometers can only estimate the number of calories burned. Most use a formula including distance, body weight and time spent in motion to determine the estimated calories burned. Advertising for the Omron HJ-321 does not indicate it is possible to input your weight, thereby rendering the calorie count less accurate than other models. If this is something that is very important to you, you may want to consider a different product.
Those of you with poorer eyesight take note: the Omron HJ0321 Tri Axis Pedometer’s digital display appears to be a little bit smaller than our previously reviewed pedometers. If you see better with bigger screens, check out one of the pedometers listed above. On the Omron HJ-321 just below the screen are three buttons to navigate through set up.
The Omron Tri Axis resets at midnight and maintains a weekly log by storing seven days worth of activity data. Users report the battery lasts for up to six months and is replaceable.
The Omron Tri Axis Pedometer is just as compact as our previously reviewed pedometers measuring approximately 3″ x 1″ x .5″ and weighing under an ounce. Take these dimensions into consideration especially if you are planning to keep the unit in your pocket.
On Amazon.com, the Omron Tri Axis goes for under $17 with Prime Membership. It is also sold on pedometersusa.com for approximately the same price. Packaging includes the unit, a battery, holder, instruction manual AND screwdriver! Users report they love the Omron HJ-321 for its accuracy and ease of use. Even though this little device is our budget pick, Omron has a great reputation amongst its users, particularly when it comes to pedometers. You can trust you are getting a good product for your money. Additionally, Omron offers a one year warranty with the HJ-321 Tri Axis Alvita Pedometer.
Remember that with any pedometer all steps are approximate. One article (listed in our reference section) suggests you should assume an error of 10% for any model. If you are a detail oriented person, having the most accurate read out is likely important to you. If you are just beginning your health journey, an approximation may be all you need. Take this into account when choosing a pedometer.
Use and User
Does the individual who is using this model require something simpler or does s/he want multiple modes and options for customizing their device? Do they want to clip on the pedometer, forget about it and go or do they want a more involved and in-depth relationship with their pedometer? Will the pedometer be used for running as well as walking? Remember that for some models running may require an adjustment in stride/step length for increased accuracy.
Despite what manufacturers may claim, all pedometers must be worn around the waist for best accuracy. You do, however, have the option to put the unit in a pocket or bag. Think about your day to day wear, the dress code at work or the lack of one at home. While almost all pedometers would be considered small, not all are the same. All will fit around the waist but not comfortably in a pocket, depending on the pocket size.
Surely the price of a pedometer reflects its worth not only to its manufacturer but to its user. The reality for most of us, however, is that expendable income is hard to find. Do not feel pressured to spend a lot of money, particularly if you are new to pedometers. You cannot predict how much or how little you will use the device until you actually have it in your hands (and on your waist).
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
You’ve done it – you have made the decision to increase your body’s physical potential. After reading our reviews, you realize you can do this without dragging yourself to the gym or spending exorbitant amounts of money on membership fees (or taking up the limited personal time you have). Before we end our discussion, we leave you with some ideas on how to actually increase your step count after you have purchased your pedometer:
– Take the stairs!
– Park far away when you go to work, run errands, pick up the kids, etc
– Walk up and down every aisle at the grocery store (you won’t forget anything this way either!)
– Instead of calling or emailing a coworker, walk to his/her office
– Pace around the house while you talk on the phone
– Laundry in the basement? Take several trips instead of one to bring the laundry up and down
– Walk the dog longer (or walk your friend’s dog!)
– Go on a walking date with a friend or partner instead of sitting at the movies
– During a lunch break, and after eating, walk around the parking lot a few times (this also aids in digestion!)
– In the warmer or moderate climate months make a 20 minute walk after a dinner a regular part of your routine