Pedometer Watches have become essential tools for runners, walkers and even hikers. They provide a means by which the distances travelled can be easily and accurately measured. If you are looking for a Pedometer Watch or running watch you will find that there are many makes and models available designed for both men and women. If you are a runner or walker or thinking of getting into shape to improve your health and fitness level; you will find that one of these devices will provide the data and information necessary to allow you to determine whether or not your exercise routine is successful. My wife and I have been a runners for more than 35 years. We initially used pedometers and then over the years as new technology became available we gradually tried out some of the different products that came onto the market.
The great advantage to owning one of these instruments is that it will provide you with information so that you can easily determine if you running or walking distances are increasing and thereby whether ot not your level of fitness is increasing as well. In addition to some of the features mentioned above, you can also find models which can be linked to your PC so that you can keep track and easily analyze your exercise data.
If you decide not to get a PC enabled pedometer watch consider getting a notebook or even a running or walking log book. Log books are designed so that you can record your daily distance run or walked or even the number of steps you have taken. These can be total steps recorded while you are at work or at home. The benefit of keeping track in this way is that you can set yourself new distance goals. These devices can also help to motivate you. By seeing an improvement in your level of fitness you can set new targets to increase your mileage. For our recommendations on walking books see our page Pedometer walking Books & Fitness Logs
These are among my favourite watches. All of these models have a number of different functions. If you are looking for a watch that will also let you know how many calories you have burned all of these have that capability. They all get very good ratings. My personal favourite is the Orange Pro. Trainer for Men. It is also able to monitor your heart rate. I have tried to source the best prices for you. At the time of writing these were the lowest prices I could find. The ladies Tech 4o Pro trainer has not been rated yet. Whichever one you decide on I am certain you will be pleased with its performance.
You have probably come across this Casio if you have been looking on the internet. This is the Casio SGW200-1VCF for men. I have been a huge fan of Casio watches for many years. Even their sports models have an excellent reputation. This particular model has a great many features, in fact it is literally packed with useful functions. You would expect to find these on a higher priced unit than this one. So what do you get?
1. 31 time zones including 48 cities. Water resistant to 100m, World time, a daylight saving feature which you can switch on or off. It has an EL backlight.
2. Running features: It includes a stopwatch, ability to track distance, the number of steps taken as well as average pace and energy consumption – it tracks the calories burned.
3. Approximate battery life is 3 years. It has 12 or 24 hour formats and the listed accuracy is between +/- approx.15 seconds per month. There is also a countdown timer, a full automatic calendar which goes up to the turn of the century, there are 5 daily alarms as well as an hourly signal.
4. This watch features a recall mode for the data related to each workout. You can store data like best, average and total lap time. Total distance as well as the total number of steps and average pace.
5. This model will store for up to 16 months your monthly distance as well as your total energy consumption. The information you enter is related to your height, weight and age and stride length. This model is designed for runners so don't consider buying it if you want something for walking. The reviews on this Casio are very good. It has been described as being very accurate, lighter than expected, comfortable to wear, good for everyday wear.
Cons: designed for running, so if you wear it to work, it will not give you an accurate recording of your distance. There is a time delay to ensure accuracy when running, but this works against it when you stop and start walking. Some reviewers found the beeping when you set it a bit annoying. Because it has so many functions it can take a bit of time to learn how to use it properly.
Tech 4O Carbon Fitness Watch
Silva Tech 4O is a manufacturer of a wide variety of running watches for men and women. One of the perennial favourites is the one above the for men. It is the Accelerator Carbon Fitness Watch. This is another model which has received very good reviews. This is a watch for runners, but it can be used for, hiking and walking as well.
1. This Tech 4O has a quick start system. This will take you step by step through the set up process. As with other models you have to customize your watch not only for the time, and date etc. but also for age, weight and height so that unit is set up from the beginning for the greatest accuracy.
2. Has an accelerometer so it is a stand alone unit. You don not need a foot pod or any other "add ons". This allows you to run or walk wherever you like, indoors, outdoors, under tree cover in built up areas. It's accuracy will not be affected.
3. The accelerator can distinguish whether or not you are walking or running. As you would expect it can track your total exercise time, average speed, distance and the number of calories used. The model has a delayed step counting feature so that it does measure small movements, but can determine when you start to take actual steps after 10 steps.
4. the Tech 4O also has an accurate stopwatch to with 1/100 sec which can run run up to 24 hours. There is a countdown timer and destination time zone and of course a daily alarm.
Cons: The one apparent drawback mentioned by a few people is that it is sometimes difficult to read under bright light because of the reflection from the watch crystal.
Tech 4O Accelerator Carnation Watch for Women
There are numerous different accelerator models for women. This is the Tech 4O Accelerator Carnation Fitness watch. This brightly coloured model has received numerous positive reviews. This is another unit which is suited to hikers, runners and walkers. It comes with many different features.
1. Similar to the other models by Tech 4O, this watch has an easy to use quick start system. This lets you customize your watch right out of the box. Just follow the set up process and enter the data you need to ensure accuracy. This includes your age, weight, height. This unit has a menu which simplifies the use of the various functions, you can turn different ones on or off or change settings with ease.
2. The accelerometer is accurate and like the other models can be used by itself without any other accessories.
3. The accelerator can determine if you are walking or running. It can then track all of the necessary metrics, such as speed, distance, calories etc.
4. This unit also features all of the chronograph, timer, time zone and daily alarm mode as the one above.
Tech 4O Black Iris Accelerator for Women
The Black iris Accelerator Women's Fitness watch also by Tech 4O. This is another function packed model which is not quite as colourful as the one above. If you are into fitness whether or not it is walking, running or even hiking this is another unit to consider.
1. The Black Iris has similar features to the carnation. The quck start system is the same, where you are guided through the easy set so that you can eneter all of your relevant data like height, weight etc.
2. As your fitness improves the wat ch is easily customized so that you can adjust your stride and your weight.
3. This model also has the chronograph, countdown timer, alternate time zone and alarm functions of the other Tech 4O's.
4. water resistant to 50M.
Cons: A couple of reviewers found the manual a bit diificult to follow.
Tech 4O Pro Trainer
The Tech 4O Accelerator Pro for men. This is one of a great lineup of tech 4O accelerator watches. There ias the pro and also the pro plus. As well as having everything you would expect in an accelerator, this unit also has a heart rate monitor as well. It does require the wearing of a chest strap. As with other models this one features customizable screens.
1. This model has the required speed, distance and pace. It measures your current speed as well as average and maximum. Current pace , total steps and calories expended, it also tracks total exercise time.
2. Heart rate functions ( with chest strap ), gives you a display in real time of your heart rate in both beats per minute and also as a percentage of your heart rate ( max. ). There is a heart rate zone alert which monitors your HR and alerts you if your heart rate drops below or rises above pre set zone limits.
3. The is also an in zone timer which lets you know the amount of time your heart rate was in the prescribed zone. The is also a daily log of your HR as well as other readings. The log book has a ten day memory.
4. Features a 33 mm easy to view display, this makes it much easier to read during an exercise session.
5. Water resistant to 100m.
Cons: The instructions for this watch may take a bit of getting used to.
Tech 4O Women's Accelerator Fitness Watch
This Tech 4O features an accelerator with easy to use menu and up and down scrolling. This particular model is a really good all in one watch for women which has had good reviews. The accelerator is accurate so that you can easily measure all of the data necessary to keep track of your running program. Not only do you get everything you would normally get with a pedometer watch, but it gives reliable reading in every situation and is water resistant to 50m. This is an ideal choice for someone looking to combine everything in one package.
1. Keeps track of your exercise time, number of steps, distance and of course speed as well as calories.
2. Scrolling menu which is easy to use
3. Measures actual exercise time.
4. Time/date/Day with back light .
5. Water resistant to 50m.
The distance tracking devices available today can be very sophisticated. Some can best be described as running computers. They are however not a completely new invention. It is thought that even the Romans might have used some sort of tool to approximate or roughly estimate the distances they travelled. The Romans were great road builders so it stands to reason that they might have had an early distance measuring instrument. Throughout history people have wanted to know the distance between places, villages, towns and cities.
The credit for inventing an early pedometer is given to Thomas Jefferson. he never applied for a patent for his invention which was made to measure the number of steps a person took. His instrument used a pendulum with metal balls. The device when hung on a person's belt would swing everytime they took a step. In this way the number of steps being taken was recorded. As you will have gathered, today's models have come a long way since Thomas Jefferson's days.
How Do They Work?
If you are interested in the mechanics of these devices, there are basically two mechanical systems ( not including GPS, which is not really mechanical ). In the most basic of terms these instruments work on the basis of a sensor which can determine when a person has taken a step. The most basic ones use a spring lever attached to a pendulum arm.
Each time the person wearing the instrument takes a step a circuit is closed by the downward motion of the pendulum. The spring then pulls the pendulum arm back to its original postion so that it can close again after another step has been completed.
With some models you may hear a definite click at the circuit closes. Some manufacturers have managed to muffle the sound by using rubber to cover the contacts. As you can see, this is a very simple explanation, hopefully it will give you some idea of how they work.
Pedometers which use spring levers use two different types of spring systems. One uses a coiled spring while the other makes use of a hair spring. Coiled spring ones tend to last longer and be more accurate than those which use a hair spring. The reason behind this is because over time a hair spring has a tendency to stretch over time. As it stretches it loses its ability to return the pendulum to its resting place as quickly as it should, or in some cases the pendulum will sag, both effect accuracy.
If you purchase a good quality hair spring unit, you should expect it to maintain its accuracy for as much as a million steps. Coiled spring systems of good quality should be accurate for many more steps. Before you make a decision it is a good idea to determine which system is incorporated in the ones you are considering.
The next step up as it were are units which use something called an accelerometer to measure steps. Devices which use an accelerometer are reportedly much more accurate than spring levered ones. It is worth mentioning however that as with anything else quality counts.
An accelerometer utilises a strain guage which lets the accelerometer know how softness or hardness of each step. Some accelerometers are designed to be suspended perpendicular from a belt, while others are designed to be carried in a pocket at practically any angle. The other advantage of an accelerometer is that it can be incorporated in a watch.
With the explosion of technical innovation and computerisation the number, quality and variety of distance tracking devices has greatly increased. A good GPS device provides much more than just the ability to track distance and calories burned. Today many athletes use advanced GPS enabled watches to track a variety of information related to their exercise routines. There are a large number of GPS units available and most of these incorporate many other features as well.
Many have the ability to keep a record of the profile of hills you have run or walked up as well as the altitude and several can also monitor heart rate. All of this data can be transferred to a computer, stored and analyzed.
Even GPS watches are consistently improving and innovating. Garmin has a couple of fairly recent additions to its lineup. The Garmin Forerunner 210 and the 410. Both of these models use Garmin"s 'Hot Fix" technology. This gives the units the ability to find satellites very quickly, a useful advantage if you run or walk in a built up area.
Deciding on a model to get can be quite difficult. There are so many models and makes with a wide variety of features and options. Perhaps the best place to start when making a a decision is to decide how much money you want to spend. You want to avoid buyer's remorse, it is probably not a good idea to purchase one that has many more features than you are likely to use or need. It is best to determine what kinds of exercise you are going to be involded in. If you only need something for measuring distances or steps walked a good pedometer should be sufficient.
Recommended makes on this website are models manufactured by Omron, Yamax and Accusplit. if you are really undecided one of these models can be a good entry level unit. They are not that expensive and after you have used one of them for a while you will have a better idea if you need someting more advanced.
If you are a walker your decision can be quite simple and relatively inexpensive, although that is not to say that you cannot go for something with all the bells and whistles. For runners the key decision is probably whether or not you want a good watch with an accelerometer or whether you you should get a GPS watch. The decision doesn't stop there though. You might also want to incorporate a heart monitor as well. All of these choices are available in one unit.
If you are already a runner then you will know that taking safety is a major consideration when you are out for a run. In particular this is the case if you are an urban runner and run on sidewalks and across roads. A couple of years ago I was hit by a car crossing an intersection at a three way stop. It was early in the morning in winter and I was light up like a Christmas tree. I had a reflective jacket and I was also carrying a light stick. I thought the driver of the car had seen me as the car remained stationary at the stop sign for a long time. Unfortunately, when I decided to cross, the car decided to go as well and I was tossed on to the hood of the car. Luckily I was not injured although both the driver and myself were badly shaken.
Please ensure that you are always aware of what is going on around you when you are out running or walking. If you like to listen to music while you run, it is a good idea to always be aware of your surroundings because sometimes it is difficult to hear approaching cars. The other hazard that runners often encounter are aggressive dogs. It always pays to stay alert, to ensure that you see the hazard whatever it may be before it is too late. If you are looking for some good safety gear, there is a category on the accessories page with some great suggestions.
Whatever you decide, it is hoped that the reviews and information as well as the various makes and models on this website will be helpful. They have been put together to help you to find the best pedometer watches in order for you choose the most suitable make and model.