Pedometers can accurately track a wide variety of activities.
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Pedometers have seen some pretty amazing technological advances since they were first developed. The devices began using a mechanical pendulum system and had to be worn on the hip in a vertical position in order to accurately count steps. Newer models and high-tech fitness bands employ tiny computer chips and gyroscopes to track everything from steps to sleep. You don't have to go high-tech, though -- any type of pedometer can be used for jumping.
Different Types of Pedometers
Mechanical spring-levered or pendulum style pedometers have been replaced in the consumer market by the newer piezoelectric variety. Piezoelectric pedometers use tiny gyroscopes and/or computer software to detect even very small changes in position. The majority of these are either dual-axis or tri-axis. Dual-axis pedometers can track movement from both a horizontal and vertical position, and tri-axis pedometers add the ability to track movement when the device is lying flat. This makes them accurate no matter where they are worn or carried -- even in a pocket or a bag. This also makes them ideal for tracking a wide variety of activities, including jumping.
The Accuracy of Pedometers
A pedometer is considered accurate if it counts activity within 10 percent of actual movement and most pedometers on the market today meet this standard. No pedometer will be perfectly accurate, though, so it's a good idea to get a baseline accuracy reading from yours. It should also be noted that accuracy can differ substantially depending on the type of activity you are doing. Place your pedometer where you will normally wear or carry it and note the starting step-count. Next, do 100 repetitions of the various activities you want to track and see how close the reading is. You can then apply the resulting variance to future activities so that your step or jump count is accurate.
Special Kinds of Pedometers
Fitness bands contain sophisticated software and electronic sensors that make it possible to track all types of movement. These gadgets can then be plugged into a computer or mobile device to download the day's activity, giving the user detailed information on number of steps or jumps, minutes of activity, idle time and calories burned. There are even jump ropes with pedometers built into them available now. So if your primary reason for using a pedometer is to count jumps, this may be the perfect option for you. Pedometer jump ropes cost about the same as basic pedometers and much less than fitness bands.
Getting the Most Out of Your Pedometer
Whether you decide to go with a basic, dual-axis step-counter, a high-tech fitness band or a jump rope pedometer, you can use your device not only to help track your activity, but also to motivate you to do more. By keeping track of steps, minutes of daily activity or number of consecutive jumps, you can set goals for yourself and aim to push your targets a little higher each week. You can also use built-in or online calorie calculators to see how many calories you burned during a workout, which can be very motivational.