You may “Walk Like an Egyptian” (The Bangles), “Walk Right In” (New Christy Minstrels) or be “Walking on Sunshine” (Katrina and the Waves). But however you do it, you want to know how many steps you’re taking and have incentive to take more!

It’s true, fitness trackers not only count your steps, they can tell you your sleep time and quality, sun exposure, calories burned and where you are in space and time (in case you’ve left the planet). Seems great — except — according to a new study, folks who use them log significantly fewer steps daily than folks using a simple step-counting pedometer.

Maybe it’s because you have to stop walking to read their screens, but whatever it is, new-fangled fitness trackers aren’t boosting your dose of daily exercise. According to the study in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, “newer devices ... are less advantageous than simpler pedometers.”

When the researchers looked at data on step-counting folks, they found that after four-plus months of daily use, people with body-worn trackers and smartphone apps took 834 fewer steps a day than those using a straightforward pedometer. And how about non-counters? A 2007 a study in JAMA found folks with a pedometer walked 2,491 more steps daily than folks who never counted steps.

So, if you’re serious about getting in 10,000, life-changing steps a day, download a well-rated, free pedometer onto your phone or buy a simple step counter. You’ll find (with apologies to Nancy Sinatra) that “Your Feet Are Made for Walking.”

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.

Thursday, December 03, 2020