If all you want is a simple device that counts steps, not distance traveled or calories expended, the Yamax Digi-Walker SW-200 is shown to be very accurate in tests. In fact, it is the control device that other pedometers are compared to in several clinical studies. This spring-lever pedometer is very easy to operate and has a long-lasting battery, but must be worn at the waist. Owners like the protective cover that flips open and allows the display to be read while attached to the waist. Some wish it could be calibrated for individual strides, and others say the plastic belt clip isn't very secure. Very slow walkers or individuals with large waists may find the Omron GoSmart Pocket Pedometer HJ-112 (*Est. $30), which uses an accelerometer, to be more accurate.
We found a review of the Yamax Digi-Walker SW-200 in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, which is the journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. One of the testers in this study also comments on the SW-200 pedometer in NEA Today, the magazine of the National Education Association. An engineering firm that conducts product testing ranks it among more than 20 other models at Pedometers.com. A less formal comparison of pedometers is at About.com. This pedometer isn't widely available online, but we found about 20 reviews of the model at Amazon.com, where it receives decent ratings. (It is also sold under private-label brands such as Accusplit and New-Lifestyles.) See the Accusplit Eagle AE120XL as a comparable model.
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1. NEA Today
In this article, Scott Crouter, an associate professor of exercise and health sciences, evaluates five pedometers, along with an unknown panel. He praises the Yamax Digi-Walker SW-200 for its low cost and recommends it for people of "normal weight." The panel reports that it is easy to use, but says it is too sensitive -- a slight jostle registered as a step.
Review: Picking a Pedometer, Gini Kopecky Wallace, January 2008
2. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
This abstract summarizes a 2004 study in which 20 testers wore 13 pedometers during normal activity spanning a 24-hour period, and their step counts were compared to a control pedometer. Because of its accuracy, the Yamax Digi-Walker SW-200 was selected as the control. The article is eight years old, but few changes have been made to the pedometer since that time.
Review: Pedometer Measures of Free-Living Physical Activity: Comparison of 13 Models, P. Schneider, S. Crouter, D. Bassett Jr., February 2004
Wendy Bumgardner, About.com's walking guide, places the Yamax Digi-Walker SW-200 in sixth place among 10 pedometers. Her summary seems to be based on other reviews rather than personal experience. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two do not share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Top 10 Pedometers, Wendy Bumgardner, Updated April 10, 2012
Only 22 users provide feedback on the Yamax Digi-Walker SW-200 Pedometer. This is far less than some competing models. Still, user reception is relatively warm, with the majority of reviewers giving the pedometer an average 4-star rating. Users say that the SW-200 is very straightforward and lacks some of the more advanced features. Still, it's easy to use and very accurate.
Review: Fit Solutions SW-200 Yamax Digiwalker Pedometer, Contributors to Amazon.com