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on May 8, 2005
After having little success using a $250 Timex Bodylink GPS watch (see review) in Manhattan, I decided to try this $15 pedometer. At first I was quite skeptical. However my tests showed the Sportline 340 Pedometer having astounding repeatability (better than 1%) and accuracy.

Most pedometers, including this one, are very basic instruments. Inside the device, there is a balanced weight that is very sensitive to vertical motion. When clipped to your belt, it increments the counter as you step driven by the translation of one side of your waist.

In order to test and calibrate the Sportline 340 Pedometer, I walked a very straight stretch of six Manhattan blocks. In the first group of tests, there were few sidewalk obstacles and minimal pedestrian traffic that impeded my movements. In order to be moderately scientific, I was certain to start and stop on the proper side of the street so the distance included exactly six stretches of cross street and six stretches of sidewalk.

After four trips of walking the same path, my step counter showed an amazingly small range of 588 to 594 steps. When one considers the variables imposed, such as not always being able to walk completely straight, the results are even more impressive. As you can see from the data below, the accuracy was quite amazing. The difference from the mean never exceeded 1%. Given the simplicity of the pedometer, I didn't expect this level of repeatability. Moreover, I didn't expect my stride length to be so uniform.

My hypothesis was that the exceptional accuracy may have been fostered, in part, by the shoes I was wearing. The Kenneth Cole Building Block shoes (see review) have very heavy soles and large heals. These may insure that the impact is harsh enough to always trigger the movement of the weight.

On a second grouping of tests, I walked precisely the same path wearing my New Balance 620 cross trainers (see review). The conditions were not the same as the first group due to far more pedestrian traffic and other obstacles, which made it very difficult to walk in a straight line. In fact, one test had to be scrapped as I was nearly run over by a taxi. As you can see below, the second group produced a step count about 2% greater than the first group. Yet this was probably due to the unavoidable path changes.

Considering that the pedometer is only calibrated in whole inches, the accuracy truly limited by the precision of the calibration settings. This means there is no difference in the two calibrations as both stride lengths would round to 32 inches.

For the price, the Sportline 340 pedometer is an excellent piece of fitness equipment. If you enjoy low-impact exercise by walking, consider this device as an excellent tool for tracking your efforts.


Lack of speed, time or other measurements
Requires user to look down while tilting the device upward
Possible inaccuracy caused by movement other than walking
Needs greater calibration precision


Experimental conditions:
1) NYC Avenue N/S: Amsterdam from 73rd to 79th
2) Measured distance on MS Streets and Trips 2005: .301 miles/1589 feet
3) Calculated distance based on NYC grid: .300 miles/1584 feet

Group1 - Wearing Kenneth Cole Building Block Shoes
________steps____diff from mean____calculated stride length
Test 1____592____0.04%________32.22
Test 2____593____0.21%________32.16
Test 3____594____0.38%________32.11
Test 4____588____-0.63%________32.43
Std Dev____2.6

Group2 - Wearing New Balance 620 Cross trainers
________steps____diff from mean____calculated stride length
Test 1____597____-0.75%________31.95
Test 2____614____2.08%________31.06
Test 3____595____-1.08%________32.05
Test 4____600____-0.25%________31.79
Std Dev____8.6
44 comments208 of 213 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 12, 2005
Great on accuracy (as long as it is level -- like most pedometers). Only 3 stars, though, because the belt clip is not a full belt clip but a mere spring clip. Mine came off twice. It would have probably come off more than that except for the fact that I have not recovered it yet.

For only a few dollars, it is well worth it; HOWEVER, be wary of your delivery charges. I was charged from Amazon's third-party seller almost twice the cost of the pedometer for delivery. (It required no more than a small padded envelope and was sent via regular US mail.)
11 comment63 of 64 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 8, 2006
Initially, the 340 was way too sensitive to be even remotely accurate. It did, however, give my wife a good laugh; she was sure that at least 5000 of my 10000 'steps' were registered while sitting perfectly still and clicking the TV remote. But after one week of use, the darn thing became so *in*sensitive that it would only register when I jumped up and down like a pogo stick. Pass on this one.
0Comment51 of 54 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 1, 2005
I just bought this sportline 340 pedometer today. I walked 20 steps, and it gave me a reading of 58 steps. I reset it, and tested it again. The next 50 steps I took resulted in a reading of 69 steps. I reset it, and tested it again. With my next 50 steps, it gave me a reading of 18 steps. I was very careful to use it properly; the problem was not human error. Don't bother with the sportline 340.
0Comment25 of 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 20, 2006
I often walk to the store or post office and was curious about how far I was walking, so when I saw how inexpensive this pedometer was, I decided that it would be fun to try and that I wouldn't really be out anything if it didn't work, or if I didn't use it.

It counts steps very accurately. The first day I used it I counted my steps myself, and would check every one hundred was right on.

It's not as accurate as far as measuring distance, but I know that's my own error in setting the stride length. My pace and stride length vary as I go so I'm still working on finding an average.

If you're looking for a simple pedometer for a good price, I recommend this product.
0Comment13 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 20, 2006
I gave this pedometer one star because it is not for anyone who wants to use it straight off of the shelf. This pedometer can work if you do not mind working on it. It has problems that need modification.

The top of the clip on this pedometer pushes against the body, making the vertical angle 20 degrees or more off of plumb. That means the weighted arm inside drags on the circuit board and does not move freely. Remove the factory clip and the tabs that hold it. Add some adhesive Velchro to the back of the case. Make a fabric band for your ankle. Attach the ends to each other with Velchro. Put a strip of Velchro on the outside of the band for attaching the pedometer to the band. I get accurate readings with this pedometer when it is attached to the inside of my right ankle. I got inconsistent readings with it on my waistline.

The hair spring that returns the weighted arm to its upright position weakened considerably after about ten miles and the pedometer drastically undercounted. I opened the pedometer and added a strut to brace the spring. The strut is made of thin brass. Aluminum from a soda can would work, too. I made a "V" in one end of the strut to hold the spring. I pushed lightly against the spring from the left side, drilled a hole in the brass, and anchored the strut to a screw on the lower left part of the circuit board. The strut angles up just slightly from the screw that anchors it. I now have quite a few miles on the pedometer. (I have a theory the spring weakened because its solder joint to the circuit board may have broken slightly and allowed the spring to twist freely.)

Several times the pedometer reset itself to "0" for no apparent reason. I know nothing pushed on the reset button. One incident was while it was going through the scanner at airport security. Once it reset while I was walking. Twice it reset while I was napping on the sofa. I am thinking a charge of static electricity overwhelmed the circuit, but I do not know. Static electricity from too many synthetic fabrics can be a problem with more expensive pedometers, too.

This pedometer uses a counter circuit. If someone needs an inexpensive electronic counter, connect a wire to the weighted arm and another wire to the coiled spring it contacts. Connect a button switch to the two wires. Freeze the weighted arm in place with hot glue.
11 comment42 of 51 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 13, 2005
The Sportsline model 340 was my second pedometer this year. I was pleased with the accuracy and ease of use. It was accurate as far as I could tell, as long as it was in a horizontal position on a belt, waistband, or pocket.

However, I am replacing the pedometer after approximately only five months of daily use. The hinge for the belt clip is broken and cannot be glued or repaired. I realize this isn't a top-of-the-line model, but it should have lasted longer than five months. My first pedometer, a different Sportsline model, broke in almost the same place after two months. The spring-based belt clip seems to be a weak area in the design.
11 comment15 of 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 22, 2005
This was completely inaccurate - the first hour I wore it on a long walk, it counted a reasonable number of steps. The following day it registered 200 steps for a 2 hour walk. I'm going to ask for a refund - but I advise readers to get an Omron, I've had good experience with at least one of those (2 years accurate use before it died). I've had 6 different pedometers so far, there is a really widespread quality problem - one of the Omrons was the only reliable one.
0Comment15 of 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 10, 2005
Although this pedometer is cleanly designed with its buttons easy to use and a clear digital display, it is worthless because it is inaccurate. I left it on for several hours while walking around doing normal tasks, and it registered only a few steps. I had clipped in on my belt just as the instructions described.

I think the problem is that this pedometer is just not sensitive enough. If you are walking normally, it doesn't register the steps. If you are pounding the pavement, it does better.
0Comment25 of 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 2, 2005
First, I bought it because the size was so small. but the clip was loose. it always fell down to the floor. then, it wasn't accurate after 3-month use. i suggest to buy $20 one and made sure that it is made in Japan.
0Comment6 of 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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