You can “count on” this kids pedometer to keep track of physical activity activity.

According to the United States Surgeon General, “We have a health crisis affecting every city, state, community, and school across America. The crisis is obesity. It is the fastest growing cause of disease and death in America. However, it is completely preventable.”  An inexpensive way to track physical activity is with a kids pedometer.

pedometers track physical activity

Experts agree that the strategy for tackling the childhood obesity is to start intervention efforts in schools.

Childhood obesity is the largest emerging health issue facing our nation. It’s serious. In fact, twenty-somethings are the first generation that are predicted to have a shorter lifespan than their parents. We need to take action. Now.

What to Look for in a Kids Pedometer.

A kids pedometer (sometimes called a step counter) senses your body motion and counts your footsteps. This count is converted into distance by knowing the length of your usual stride. Wearing a pedometer and recording your daily steps and distance is a great motivating tool. You can wear a pedometer all day, every day and record total steps. Or you can wear it just when you go out for a walking workout.

Pedometers are the tiny tool designed to measure your steps and motivate you to take more.

[ii] They are an inexpensive tool for measuring physical activity and they are readily available.

In order to make changes in your daily exercise regimen and to stay motivated in a physical activity routine, kids pedometers can provide an awareness of activity targets and progress towards them. For instance, you may start your fitness goals with a certain

school pedometer

a minimum number of steps per day, then increasing that goal as the weeks pass and you become more fit.

Walking can help you and your family look and feel better, increase energy, sleep better and improve your mood. A 30-minute walk daily has also been shown to: help controls your weight, lower cholesterol, strengthen your heart and reduce the possibility of serious illness when you get older.

The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports recommends at least 30 minutes a day for 5 or more days a week. Another target to hit is 10,000 steps a day measured by a pedometer.

Which Pedometer is Best for Kids?

Deciding on the correct pedometer depends on several variables. For children, a single step pedometer is generally the best. It records steps and typically distance until it is reset. Other pedometers may show calories, distances, steps, a stop watch etc. Some new pedometers that are gaining in popularity are pedometers which show steps, distance, calories, and also measure physical activity levels. For example, a more complex pedometer records time in moderate activity, or vigorous activity. This pedometer is popular for research purposes.

Twenty-first Century Pedometers

fitbit pedometer for school

Yet another invention over the past few years are pedometers which link with computers and allow you to record all of the above remotely as you pass a “base station” hooked to your computer.

My current favorite is called “Fitbit.” It lists activity in an amount of steps taken, miles traveled, calories burned, calories consumed and activity levels such as sedentary, lightly active, fairly active, and very active. Activity time is recorded in minutes. The Fitbit also records your sleep patterns, including the time you went to sleep, the time when you awakened, and actual sleep time.

How Kids Should Wear a Pedometer

Most pedometers for kids come with a clip or safety leash. It is extremely important to use these leashes/clips, since pedometers may fall off and break. In working with elementary children, I like to advise them that these are tiny little computers they are wearing on their waist band and although this is not completely accurate, kids get the picture and typically handle them with the same respect as their favorite video game. Pedometers are typically worn on a belt or on the waist band of clothes. A safety leash is a must when using with students.