Is step tracking beneficial?



  • jlbtnc
    jlbtnc Posts: 725 Member
    I am not sure if it helps with my progress of losing weight, but I use it as a way of getting up and getting active. I generally exercise 5-7 days depending on weather and hubby's work schedule. So if I don't exercise, I try to get steps in but not always the case. On a good day get over 10,000 steps on a bad day only over 2,00-3,000. So if id doesn't help with weight loss it motivates me to be more active.
  • 4legsRbetterthan2
    4legsRbetterthan2 Posts: 19,538 MFP Moderator
    That depends, are you the type of person who is going to challenge yourself to beat yesterdays count or reach your goal? Then it could be. If not, then no.
  • Panini911
    Panini911 Posts: 2,325 Member
    edited May 2019
    not for weight loss. I have had mine thru the weight gain too ;) then the loss.

    10,000 thing was also around back when people had good old school pedometers. it's just a random goal to get people moving, really the point is to move MORE than what you previously did.
  • angela1980r
    angela1980r Posts: 7 Member

    I have a desk job and step tracking does encourage me to take a lunchtime walk or print on another floor.

    Anything that encourages more NEAT activity is incredibly useful, but personally, I would never rely on my steps as my sole form of exercise.

  • Gamliela
    Gamliela Posts: 2,470 Member
    I wear a pedometer, as in, thats all it does, counts my steps. Inexpensive and easy to wear, simple to implement.

    I wear one because I can have anywhere from 5 or 6,000 steps to 27 or 28,000 steps a day. I have to fuel myself well, so on days my steps are high that means a lot more calories! Over a week, if its a high step week, I could be severely depleting myself, or I could make myself fat if I were to eat to fuel 28,000 a day and only actually be walking 5,000.

    I use a pedometer because I don't seem to notice the difference between 5,000 and 20,000 steps a day, time goes by anyway. I log steps every night in a notebook and average the totals every 10 days or so so I can eat accordingly.

    I agree, not every one needs to be so attentive to their step count, it could become unhealthily obsessive!
  • TravisJHunt
    TravisJHunt Posts: 533 Member
    Yep although I don't think it was specifically the tool, more the information it provided. I never realized how very little I was actually active during the day. Seeing it now pushes me to be more active.
  • vim_n_vigor
    vim_n_vigor Posts: 4,093 Member
    I work in an office where it is very easy to get too busy to get up to get a drink, go to the bathroom, or even eat lunch. Watching my steps is more a way to make sure that I am getting up and doing something during the day. I don't have a magic number I go for. When I first started, it did help as I was really beyond sedentary and working my step count up was beneficial. I was not at a point where I was going to be able to do any exercise for any amount of time that was going to really help get me into shape. Now that I am able to exercise longer periods of time, I am not focusing much on the steps anymore.
  • thanos5
    thanos5 Posts: 513 Member
    it is for me, but i'm a numbers geek. i find it motivational.
  • grimendale
    grimendale Posts: 2,194 Member
    I track steps on my phone purely because I get rewards from my insurance for it, but it has zero motivating ability for me. It's sometimes interesting to see the variations in total counts based on what I'm doing in a day, but that's it. I personally prefer scheduled runs over step tracking for my exercise (currently training for a half marathon). I work a desk job, so most days I get between 3-6k steps, but on long run days, that number shoots up beyond 20k. There are other people in my office who also track for the rewards, and they find that it does convince them to get out and take a walk that they otherwise wouldn't take, so I agree with a lot of the previous poster's that it really comes down to personal preference. If it works for you, great. If not, no big deal.
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 11,405 Member
    edited May 2019
    trbp72 wrote: »
    If you do nothing all day and have the time to walk 5 miles daily...that's great...but most people will struggle with that...and the 10,000 steps has been proven to be an arbitrary figure plucked out of thin air for the purposes of marketing step counters in the first I like others have gone through the motions of having a step tracker...because it was a thing...and I haven't used it in about a year...because constant use meant having to charge it every fortnight...and I very rarely achieved the golden goose of 10,000 steps! I think I did it once when we were at a rock festival walking from the campsite to the arena every day equated to about 5 miles! Dr Michael Moseley a proponent for reversing diabetes is against it also:

    The only useful function was the sleep analysis...I took notice of that more than the walking to be honest...

    When/if you decide it is important to you, you will make the time.

    You are awake, I would think, at least 16 hours a day.

    3 minutes of brisk walking every hour will clock a good 4800 steps.

    A 15 minute walk before work, at lunch, after work and after dinner gets you another 6000.

    Nobody says that it is easy to change your activity level or outlook towards what's an acceptable amount of daily movement.

    As with many things in life you get to choose and prioritize. And nobody says that your 10k steps cannot be very active and at a faster than moderate pace! :wink:
  • BattyKnitter
    BattyKnitter Posts: 503 Member
    I'm a couch potato and left to my own devices will lounge on the couch alllll day. I find my Fitbit very helpful in raising my NEAT levels.
  • Sunshine_And_Sand
    Sunshine_And_Sand Posts: 1,320 Member
    I think if it's useful or not depends on the person.
    For some it can be eye opening as to how inactive you actually are and a motivation to get in more steps. If those more steps help you with the calorie deficit, then it helps.
    If it doesn't motivate you or doesn't help you achieve the calorie deficit, it doesn't help.
    Even if doesn't help with weight loss, if you are somebody who likes the data and likes to see your daily steps, it's not hurting anything.
  • SCoil123
    SCoil123 Posts: 2,108 Member
    I found tracking steps very helpful when determining my activity level
  • Clarisse_McClellan
    Clarisse_McClellan Posts: 44 Member
    Some people do it and say it really helps them lose. Some people (like my MIL) do it but don't use the information they get from it to do anything (like being more active or adjusting their eating to their energy output), so it's just a piece of jewelry they wear while they gain weight. Some people are like me and don't see the point. (I would definitely not use the information for anything but to feel proud of myself or bad about myself, depending on the day.) So, really, it depends on you. If you think you'll use the information to help you get more fit, buy a fitness band. But get a cheap one if it's possible you won't use it.
  • mecoconleche
    mecoconleche Posts: 86 Member
    I track mine. But it’s mostly out of interest than necessity
  • trbp72
    trbp72 Posts: 32 Member
    Maxematics wrote: »
    Whoa there, way to overgeneralize. It's almost like you're trying to shame people who get in a lot of steps.

    Just saying that my life...I'm sure like a lot of other peoples doesn't allow me the time to walk 5 miles a day! No shame for people that do a lot of steps! If you can do it great! I just can't fit it into my day! I go to the gym 5 days a week first thing in the morning before work for a 50 minute work out and after work I have things to be done at don't have time to walk that many steps...also I only get like 30 minutes for lunch...and can't really walk anywhere during that time because the location isn't appropriate for walking as there are cars flying by at 60-70mph every five minutes out the front...the road is very cycling isn't even an option!

    Also think the 10000 steps thing has been around long before step counters became such a big thing, my first step counter was a little clip on the waistband that cost £2 and that was 20 years ago

    Just done a bit more research into it and the 10,000 steps recommendation came from Japanese research in the 1960s so definitely before FitBit became popular.

    The Japanese research in the 60's was then used to sell a pedometer way back then!

    So it's not just about FitBits...trackers have existed long before those!

    I mean I'm not trying to start any fights here...I'm just stating that it doesn't work for everyone...the point is you need to find something that works for you...and the problem inherent in the fitness industry is that the makers of these items need to sell them to you so they can make their money...but like weighing yourself constantly can become can walking X amount of steps...I mean how many people worry because they haven't done 10,000 steps a day? They don't need to worry because it's not a necessary requirement...but because they've read that it is a good idea somewhere...they now believe that not doing 10,000 steps a day is why they are not losing weight...the idea is good...the execution is somewhat questionable...

    Sure get out and be as active as you can be...walking is a free activity and in good conditions is extremely enjoyable...but it's not something that you should rely on for weight loss...I mean you walk generally somewhere every day...and just walking to the shop and back isn't necessarily doing you any good (it depends what you are going to the shop for...).

    On a personal level, I tried didn't work for I haven't bothered to track how many steps I take for a year or so and I'm losing weight without it's not an essential item for weight loss...