Pedometers are a great way to track your steps and start walking more.

Once you have a pedometer, either a My Journey one, a brand name model, or an app on your phone, you can start keeping track of your walking. For the first week, you don’t need to do extra walking. Just write down each day how much walking you do to keep track of an ‘average’ week. Many people, even people who have very busy lives, are only doing about 3,000 steps a day.  See our ‘walking to get in shape or lose weight’ section for what these step goals can mean for you, and how to increase your steps over time.

Free pedometers on your smartphone

There are lots of options available to count your steps using your smartphone. They work best if they can sit in your trousers' side pocket, but you can also get a fairly good reading if they are in your bag or back pocket.  Often they use the gyroscope or accelerometer in your phone (the same technology that turns your screen when you tilt your phone) to sense your movement, which is great to include steps indoors. Others use GPS to map your route - if you use GPS, it may drain your battery faster and will use data. Check that your contract will cover this.


  • Pedometers that don’t rely on GPS will pick up steps whilst cooking or walking around work, not just your outdoor steps.
  • Try to find one that will run in the background - that way it will track your steps all the time, not just when you turn it on for a specific walk, and you don’t have to remember.
  • If you use an accelerometer or gyroscope, it counts your movement - try not to have it in pockets that are on loose clothing or you will get lots of extra steps. The same is true if it’s in a bag - try to keep the bag close to your body so that it moves with you.
  • If you aren’t sure whether it’s working, count out 100 steps and see if it’s close - ideally you want it as close as possible. If it’s way off, uninstall it and try another one!


  • Accupedo Pedometer for Android. This will run in the background to count your steps all day, uses your accelerometer and you can set new laps if you’re going out for a specific walk (ie. the school run, a walk round the park, etc.)
  • Noom for Android. This will run in the background to count your steps all day, and uses your accelerometer. You can also get other friends with Android mobiles to sign up and cheer each other on, compete, or just be nosy!
  • Accupedo Pedometer for iPhones. This seems to be one of the few iPhone pedometer apps that will run in the background to count your steps all day. It uses the iPhone gyroscope rather than GPS, so it won’t drain your battery.
  • Pedometer Master Free for Windows phones. This seems to run in the background and can either use GPS or the accelerometer. The My Journey team have NOT tested this app, so please let us know what you think!

Do you have any reviews of these pedometer apps? Tips on what has worked? Find out that you double your steps if it's in your handbag on one app, but accurate using another? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.