How can I tell how active I am in a day?

Eric Olsen
There's a simple, no-hassle way to find out with reasonable accuracy how active you are throughout the day -- use a pedometer. Clip it to your belt when you get up in the morning, and check for the day's total before you go to bed. The pedometer counts every step you take (most pedometers automatically convert steps into distance traveled; you'll want to find a pedometer that gives you the option of recording steps taken). By the way, one study finds that people who use a pedometer take on average 2,000 more steps in a day, about a mile, than those who don't use one.
Lifefit: An Effective Exercise Program for Optimal Health and a Longer Life

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Lifefit: An Effective Exercise Program for Optimal Health and a Longer Life

An easy-to-follow programme for lengthening and improving lives. More than an exercise guide, this text is an effective tool for making meaningful lifestyle decisions to benefit long-term fitness. In...

One way to see a great representation of how active you really are is with the Body Media for Exerspy armband sensing device. This device measures your motion, body heat, skin temp. and conductivity to give you one of the most accurate views of how active you are. Along with your calories burned (activity) it uses your individual body stats to calculate the length of physical activity, sleep efficiency and steps taken. This has been an invaluable tool for a lot of our clients.


There are a number of ways to measure and monitor physical activity that will help you track it. Monitoring devices like pedometers will keep track of the number of steps you take. Tracking steps and your weight each week will make it easy to calculate how much activity is needed to maintain your weight. Other monitoring devices like accelerometers like the ExerSpy will measure your steps plus your total accumulated activity and will give an accurate estimate of calories burned that day. These devices can be plugged into monitoring programs, which will record and track your activity level and calories burned daily and can also track weight. Another great tool is to keep an exercise log. An exercise log can come in a variety of forms: journal, calendar, or a workout card. Exercise logs can help by:  

  • Provides the opportunity to look at progress over time.
  • Builds self-confidence and self-esteem, which leads to exercise adherence.
  • Can be used as a form of accountability.  
  • Encourages honesty and adherence to an exercise program.
  • Serves as a reward.
  • Helps identify challenging situations and barriers to exercise

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.