The pedometer is the most popular motivational tool for anyone who is trying to get fit by undertaking a walking regime, usually with the goal of getting in 10,000 steps a day. The original Omron HJ-112 pedometer was first introduced in 2003 and has all the basic features a consumer would expect in a pedometer. Omron released an updated model HJ-112 GOSmart in 2010, highlighting the dual-axis sensor used for tracking steps. This model is small and light (about 2 inches by 1.4 inches by 0.6 inch and weighing just over an ounce) and, like the original HJ-112, is designed to fit in a front pocket and uses 1 lithium battery (CR2032). It is available for $38.95 at Amazon (at this writing).
- Dual-axis or 2D sensor technology records steps whether the device is positioned horizontal (sideways) or vertical (even upside down) in a pocket or purse or clipped to a waistband.
- The unit counts regular steps and aerobic (cardio) steps separately, so the user can transition from walking to jogging easily without having to reset anything, which is helpful for burning body fat.
- The dual display is large and simultaneously shows an AM/PM clock and the number of steps.
- A multi-mode button allows the user to rotate between readings for steps, distance (in miles) and calories burned.
- The unit automatically resets the step count to 0 when the clock begins a new day, so it’s ready to use the next morning without the user having to remember to reset it.
- The unit’s memory stores data for 7 days, which is helpful for tracking weekly fitness activity goals.
The Omron HJ-112 is notable for its accuracy, versatility and durability.
The pedometer gets high marks (in laboratory tests and in practice) for accuracy in performing its main function, which is providing the information someone needs to make sure they are getting a healthy number of steps a day. This pedometer is suitable for anyone who walks for recreation, fitness or weight management and wants the help of a simple tool to make sure they are keeping on track–but without needing a mobile phone or internet connectivity to set up or use the pedometer.
Though it’s meant to be carried in the upper front pocket of a jacket, optimally, the pedometer records steps with accuracy if carried in a front pant pocket or in a purse, too. A plastic holder with spring clip and security strap is included for attaching the unit to a belt. The convenience of being able to carry the pedometer in a variety of ways is useful for accommodating different users in different situations. After all, people don’t always carry a bag or wear clothes with pockets. Clip it on at the gym when going from the treadmill to the elliptical machine; put it in a vest or pant pocket when walking or hiking or jogging outdoors or, if a city walker, slip it inside a purse or bag.
The unit’s mechanism for tracking steps is a smart sensor. The sensor is what makes the unit sensitive and versatile enough to measure both step counts and the intensity of those steps (i.e., regular steps and aerobic steps). Sensor technology also makes the unit quite durable with repeated and heavy use. Try doing some math: If someone adhered to a 10,000 step/a day program, 5 days a week, for just one year, that’s 2.6 million steps. There are customers who have been using their Omron HJ-112 pedometer reliably for more than 10 years.
It takes some patience to complete the initial setup before using this pedometer. Users have to first count their own steps for a fixed distance and manually program this measurement into the pedometer. If someone does this initial measurement wrong, then the other pedometer calculations that are based on step counts–namely, distance walked and calories burned–are going to be wrong, too. Users might want to check and recheck their measurements first, and make sure they walk at a pace consistent with the initial measurement, so that they have confidence that the pedometer will be accurate in its calibrations.
As an older product incorporating 10-year-old technology, the price for the model HJ-112 may seem a little steep, especially since Omron pedometers using newer technology–including triple axis sensors and USB for web connectivity–are also available online through Amazon at a comparable price point ($40 range).
The Omron HJ-112 pedometer is available at the lower-end of the price spectrum for a digital health product and uses older technology, but for person whose daily goal is to become more active, and who is happy to have a no-frills pedometer that doesn’t cost a lot, has good battery life and doesn’t require a mobile phone app, it may be a good option. It is an accurate and durable unit that does what it promises to do–count steps and distance covered while walking. It also comes from a reputable manufacturer that makes a whole suite of digital health consumer products, not only pedometers, but also digital blood pressure monitors, body composition analyzers and heart rate monitors.
For someone who is looking for a more engaging and information-driven way to improve their health and wellness, there may be other pedometers to evaluate that might be comparably priced to the HJ-112, but require more tech-savvy to use.
Omron HJ-112 Video Review