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Best of Breed: The Gold Standard Among Pedometers
on September 4, 2004
Since getting attached to pedometers a couple of years ago, I've gone through at least a dozen--Digiwalkers, Oregon Scientifics, Omrons. Sometimes the clips would break (Digiwalkers have no spring clip), or the cover would snap off, or they would prove highly inaccurate, or they would be bulky, or they would be too "versatile" and intricate to be practical for someone who was simply looking to get in 10,000 steps for the day. For this reason, I recommended the Sportline 330 as a comparatively rugged, accurate, and inexpensive step counter that, if need be, could be replaced with minimal financial damage.
But recently I saw this "high end" Omron at Walgreen's and thought I'd give it a spin. Its primary allure: it claims to be so sensitive that you don't need to wear it on a belt or some other outer wear. Just drop it in your shirt pocket or purse and forget about it.
Guess what? The Omron people aren't pulling your leg. This is indeed a very sensitive little machine that does what it says it will do, in addition to being fast, easy, convenient, and extremely durable. I decided to test it by walking 30-40 minutes with the Omron in my shirt pocket and the Sportline clipped to my belt. At the end of my walk the Omron and Sportline were within 80 steps of each other. Moreover, it was the Omron that gave me the extra steps (a bonus if you consider the amount of time it takes--practically 2 hours--to log the full 10,000 steps).
The only advanced feature I occasionally use is the memory bank. The device automatically resets to 0 steps while saving the previous day's count in memory (for up to a week). Although I set the clock, I rarely use the other extra features--calorie counter, aerobic read-out, or even distance covered. I don't even bother with things like entering stride length and attaching clips or necklaces. This particular Omron model rises above the field because of one thing: quality. It's accurate, it's easy and fast, and it's dependable if not indestructible (I've sat on it, inadvertently sent it through the wash, dropped it into a bath-tub). It keeps going, as long as you do. If you have a shirt pocket and know how to read from one to 10,000, you're on your way.
You can never have too many good pedometers, but this Omron makes it unlikely you'll need another one any time soon. There's no question in my mind that this is best of breed, the one that Tiger Woods would use even if he had to pay for it and realized no rewards other than the practical and motivational benefits of the device itself. At its current price, it's probably the best buy on Amazon.