What is the difference between PEDOMETERS (pendulum) & ACCELEROMETERS?
Pedometers work by detecting vertical motion and hip movement. Pedometers count a step each time they detect this vertical change in direction. A horizontal arm bounces up and down inside the unit by either a spring (Yamax Digiwalker) or a hairspring (a majority of other pedometers). Their accuracy is highly dependent on the placement on the waistband and keeping the pedometer vertical is vital.
Tilting or wearing at an angle will affect pedometer accuracy drastically, this is particularly apparent in people with waist measurement greater than 100 cm. (tummy tends to hang over the waistband)
The best, most accurate pendulum spring-loaded pedometers are manufactured by Yamax Digi-Walker in both the SW & CW series such as the Digiwalker SW700, SW200 and the CW700 with 7 day memory and dual screen.
Accelerometer (Piezoelectric) Pedometers use a piezoelectric strain gauge which bends when each step is taken thus recording an accurate step.
For those more technically minded;
"Piezoelectric is a material that generates an electric charge when it mechanically deforms. Piezoelectric pedometers use a horizontal cantilevered bean with a weight on the end that compresses a piezoelectric crystal when subject to movement like walking (acceleration). This generates a voltage proportional to the acceleration and the voltage oscillations are used to record steps.
A great example of Piezoelectric technology is the Nike + iPod, Nintendo Wii controller and your cars Airbags
Why Accelerometers (Piezoelectric) pedometers are a better choice
These pedometers have no moving parts - therefore no clicking sound. It also tests more accurate than spring-levered mechanisms, especially when the pedometer is tilted at an angle, which is often the case with those with larger body shapes/ waist measurements or those walking at slower speeds. The other important benefit of Accelerometers is it’s ability to filter out incidental movement like, crossing your legs or sneezing, by not counting steps until an ‘X’ amount of steps have been taken (depending on the brand).
Accelerometers can be worn on the waist, on the wrist, in a pocket or hang from a lanyard around the neck (depending on the model & brand). This sophisticated technology is user-friendly and offers greater motivation and goal setting tools for every walker. They are accurate and reliable. WE love them!
The only small disadvantage of using an accelerometer pedometer is that you will have to replace the battery more frequently (every 6 to 8 months) due to the power that is needed to count the steps. The accuracy, placement and no clicking noise far out weigh that small additional cost. Battery replacement is easy in all our accelerometer pedometers.
How come I haven’t read or seen more about Accelerometers pedometers?
If you’re been researching the ‘best buy pedometer’ you most likely have come across the Australia CHOICE magazine Pedometer review.
There has been extensive medical testing / research of the Piezoelectric pedometers in the US in particular the NL series and Kenz Lifecorder. The results support the accuracy and reliability, in particular on larger bodies. Japan have been using Accelerometer pedometer for years. Its only new technology to us!
Unfortunately, due to our small population size (compared to US and UK), Australia does get excluded from offering many products that are readily available to US or UK residents .
As the only pedometer specialist in Australia our mission is simple- If it's an accurate and reliable pedometer, we will do our best to stock it. You’ll find we stock pedometers that are only available in the UK and US markets. We have gone to great lengths to make these available to Australia and New Zealand walkers.
CHOICE is an excellent source of consumer information, however it’s important to remember this Pedometer review was conducted in 2004. There has been considerable advancements, the Yamax Digi-walker SW700 and Digiwalker SW200 series has been upgraded to the CW series featuring Dual Screen, Activity steps and 7 day memory and the arrival of Accelerometer pedometers heralds greater accuracy.