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Do you count your steps?!

Pedometer vs. Fitbit vs. Apple Watch vs. Oura Ring:

 I recently heard that over 75% of women over the age of 40 do not get enough daily steps.


After 20 yrs of wearing a step counter and working with clients for over 24 yrs, I attest that sounds about right!


Over 90% of my clients do not use their Apple watch to count steps, or even know how to check it. Step #1 is I teach them how to use the Health App to check their steps.


The first goal is to monitor their steps for 2 weeks with their normal activity. THEN we set a goal.


The first thing they say is, "I know I should get 10,000 steps" - maybe/maybe not!


I do not recommend all clients "try to get 10,000 steps"! It's a very personalized goal based on everything else they are doing.


I wore a pedometer for probably 10+ yrs. I gave them to clients and helped them set goals starting in 2003.

I finally switched to waist Fitbit when they came out - I wore both for a LONG time! They were spot-on accurate to each other.


A few years back I got a Garmin, and then Fitbit watch. BOTH over counted by an average of 2000+/- steps/day - that is NOT OK. I returned both. 


I finally broke down and got an Apple watch - it's spot on with my Fitbit every day!!!! My Oura ring has helped me change my SLEEP habit and also tracks STRESS and both are insanely accurate. 


That being said, Oura usually over counts by 1500-3000 steps. This day was a rare day where they were equal but usually by the end of the day Oura is much higher; probably because it's on my hand.


I learned about pedometers/accelerometers in 2002 when a professor in my Masters program suggested I do my thesis on them. This changed my life!


  • He had been wearing one for a long time, so Step #1: I wore one! Period.

  • He told me about this 10,000 step goal out of Japan and low and behold I was getting about 2000 steps working at OHSU - more when I hit the gym. I was shocked. So I turned all my "breaks" and lunch into walk breaks.

  • My goal was to leave OHSU with 6,000 steps and then head to the gym.


Since 2003, my YEARLY average is 11,000-12,000 steps/YEAR - you can check this on the 

Health App. Even with a week off due to ice, my average is still over 11,000 - I was very happy. FYI: your phone is always counting your steps but you have to carry it.


Getting this average takes INTENTIONAL work every single day. It's not easy, it takes effort and time but I LOVE it! It means walking for a minimum of 60 minutes/day.


I also bike, lift weights and do yoga. Back in the day I had a client tell me her pedometer was broken! She exclaimed, "It only says 2,000 steps every day!"

Turns out, she worked from home and didn't, no it's not easy or automatic. Your step goal should be individualized based on everything else you do, your energy, your goals, etc. 


FIRST STEP: monitor what you're doing, then set a goal 1000-2000 higher average per week; and adjust when it gets "easy".


MY THESIS: I took over 50 nurses, gave them pedometers and did a food questionnaire before and after the 30 days.

  • Half were normal BMI and half were over 25 BMI. The normal BMI nurses took an average of 2,000 more steps/day than the other nurses (that's a mile). 

  • ALL of the nurses were getting over 10,000 steps/day so at first I was like oh, no, I chose the wrong group. BUT, the normal weight nurses also brought their lunch to work and ate more fruits and veggies; did not frequent the cafeteria.

  • Both of these things were statistically significant and my Conclusion: the extra 2000 steps/day and food choices kept the nurses at a healthy BMI/weight. Don't get on me about BMI. That's a whole other thing these days!



That's all! I hope you enjoyed this!



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