Want to get more active? Use a pedometer. Results of a 21-week study reported in Arthritis Research and Care in 2017, found pedometers helped patients with rheumatoid arthritis walk about 1,500 more steps a day.The proportion of people classified as sedentary dropped 30 percent among those using pedometers, and the number of people getting the study’s recommended goal of 8,000 steps a day doubled. Those who were more active thanks to a pedometer also reported feeling less fatigue and experienced improved functioning, less depression and fewer self reports of swollen and tender joints and/or pain.
“Pedometers can work for almost anyone,” says lead author Patricia Katz, PhD, a professor of medicine at the University of San Francisco. “Assuming people don’t have any prohibitions from their physician, are able to walk and have a safe place to walk, they can just start walking.”
Katz recommends starting with small increases and gradually building up the time, distance and number of steps to about 8,000 per day.
Conventional pedometers calculate steps, and some also count calories. Some can be pre-programmed to calculate distance and stride length. Like regular pedometers, pedometer apps on cell phones use body movements to calculate steps. Pedometers with GPS calculate distance using satellite information, and have other features, like text notifications of calories burned and your heart rate. According to Consumer Reports, pedometers can range in price from $3 to $300.—JENNIFER DAVIS and MICHELE ANDWELE
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