So Many Steps!

Just kidding!

That’s what my Weight Watchers pedometer told me this morning. We decided to get back on plan recently and have done really well with our food choices. My old WW pedometer had stopped working, so we stopped by a WW center on Saturday to pick up a new one (as well as several new snacks I might tell you about later!) so that I could start tracking my movement during the day. Everybody recommends 10,000 steps as a goal for all day activity, as well as working in appropriate strength or cardio. I clipped my new pedometer on this morning and headed out the door to work. By the first time I headed to the ladies room, I had already racked up over 700 steps.

Uh… no I didn’t?

I knew that a few extra steps might be counted just from dropping my pants, but not that many. Sitting at my desk and typing, I racked up another 100 steps. That’s when I called BS. I had an extra 20 steps on it walking from my office to Jason’s, then it added another 10 steps, just turning it to see how many steps it had counted. I held it in my hand and watched four more steps roll. I started to utilize the pause button to try to get the step count under control.

After a little looking, I found this FAQ file which addressed the issue in the very first question. Apparently this new model is actually designed to be so highly sensitive that the pause button must be used at any time you are not actively walking. Now, I do know that it’s common to have a little bit of discrepancy when you let a pedometer just run, but this is silly. It has the ability to switch between active and all day tracking (which makes a difference in activity points calculation) and I’m sure the sensitivity makes for very accurate active counts, but without being able to adjust the sensitivity for all day tracking, it just misses the mark. For all day tracking, you shouldn’t have to babysit it by pausing and unpausing every time you sit down or stand up. It should either automatically switch sensitivity depending on which tracking style you select, or at the least have an option to adjust the sensitivity depending on your most common use of the device.

But it doesn’t.

So, I have two things to say about that. DO NOT buy this pedometer if you will be using it for all day tracking. It is probably quite accurate for active tracking. Also, anyone have some great recommendations for pedometers that allow sensitivity adjustment?

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. indigodragyn
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 14:10:28

    Ohai! Long time lurker, first time commenter. /wave

    I believe that the sensitivity adjustment is specifically for the sleep tracker, but the Fitbit (fitbit.com) is a pretty awesome jacked up pedometer. My boss is a WW leader, and uses a Fitbit with her ActiveLink gadget, and she’s the one who got me itching for one. I’ve managed to drop 9.4 lbs in the past 5 weeks, mostly because it has me so much more aware of how active I am (or am not).

    I clip it on my bra in the morning, and wear it on a wrist band while I sleep, and only have to set it aside for my shower (or swimming). I have my USB base on my computer at home, and my boss has an extra one at her computer, so I can sync it to the website throughout the day and see my progress online or on the Android app.

    I’m absolutely smitten with it, and highly recommend it. ^^

    Reply

  2. fynralyl
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 14:37:26

    Hello! I’m glad you’ve liked the blog well enough to stay with us with the recent inactivity and am so glad you responded today! You’re the second to recommend the FitBit (someone else mentioned it on twitter) and I’ve just been checking out their website. Really does looke like the kind of thing I need to monitor overall health and give me a clearer ideas on areas to improve (as well as tracking to see said improvement). Which model do you use? “The One” or “Ultra”? They looks to be very similar.

    Reply

    • indigodragyn
      Sep 24, 2012 @ 14:44:10

      I have the Ultra–One and Zip were just recently announced after I got mine. -_-;

      One is supposed to be the newer version of Ultra (basically the same thing, but a new design), and Zip seems to be a less fancy and more bulky version (it doesn’t track elevation or sleep, and supposedly doesn’t fit between cleavage as discreetly).

      I’m jonesing for the Aria scale for Christmas, which ties in to your account, and they also have a premium membership for $50 a year (you can try it for a week for free, but I’m waiting to have a few months of data first).

      Reply

      • fynralyl
        Sep 24, 2012 @ 15:22:53

        Yeah, from what I saw of Zip, it looks awkward and bulky, also not as many bells and whistles. Was leaning toward Ultra but will take another look at One. Do you know if it’s possible to get extra USB fobs?

      • indigodragyn
        Sep 24, 2012 @ 15:41:34

        I believe my boss got her extra one from a WW member who had gotten a new FitBit, but I don’t think you can get the extra USB bases through the official site. I do know that the bases aren’t specifically tied to the FitBit though, ’cause my boss’ and my FitBits both sync to the USB at her computer, and we pull up our own information when we log on to the site.

        The Ultra and One both cost the same, so I believe it’s basically a question of if you’d want to wait another month for the newer model (they’re supposed to ship “late October”).

      • fynralyl
        Sep 24, 2012 @ 16:06:49

        I think I found a good solution! I found a lot on ebay for the blue Ultra w/all accessories, plus an extra charging base. It’s used and a little scratched/dinged-up, but the whole lot was less than $40 plus shipping. It says that it’s fully functional. We’ll get that and I will use it to try it out and if we like it, we’ll preorder One for me and Jason can have the old Ultra. Will give us ways to charge in each of our work offices and our shared office at home. Perfect!

      • indigodragyn
        Sep 24, 2012 @ 17:19:22

        I hope you guys like it! \o/

        One fun thing about it is that you can friend each other on your accounts, so you can see who’s taken more steps in the past 7 days. (I’m 5k ahead of my boss!)

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