Make sure to take any wearable electronics off your clothes before you throw them in the washing machine.
I just finished a 30 min walk on the treadmill in my bedroom with my Fitbit clipped to my pajama pants -- then I threw them into the washing machine with a bunch of other clothes before heading off to the shower.
The washing machine had just started up when I thought to myself "Oh dearie, dearie me!" (or words to that effect) and ran back and stopped the machine. Fortunately the pants with the Fitbit were on top of the pile and it hadn't been submerged yet ... phew!
@Duane:What's more important is consistency. Try to position and measure the same way all the time as much as possible. Then you can compare relative to yourself. But, what? You say? You won't be able to compare yourself to anyone else?
I agree that consistency is important, so if you were it in the same place and do the same exercise each day, it's useful for comparing yourself to yourself.
Stiill and all -- I prefer to know that my count of say 3000 steps is as close as possible to reality if only for my onw peace of mind (obsessive compulsive, remember).
And remember that the Fitbit gave accurate results irrespective of where it was clipped when I was in sneakers walking on a hard surface (worst case was 1 step error out of 100 -- and that was measured over 100 steps, so there could be a glitch in my count starting and stopping -- I woudl not be supprized to find the error fell to 1 out of 1000 steps if I had performed the test over 1000 steps).
The problem was on the treadmill -- if I were competing with others, I would ask them to wear their Fitbits on the center of their pants while on a treadmill so that we could be reasonably sure we were counting much the same thing...
Modern world makes everyone busy and most of us inevitably sit most of the day. Yet, we all know that exercise is the best way to keep you health. If this apply to you, you definitely will like to quantify your exercise level as much as possible. No doubt if you can run for an hour or go to gym for an hour or so, you will get a better health index. Nonetheless, every step counts when your day is pretty much filled up with work and family. So, fitbit and Up by Jawbone come into the picture. It gives up incentive to walk/ run. It quantifies every extra steps we have made. To me, this is a device making me eager to walk.
No doubt, like most measurement tools, there is a margin of error. Pedometer has been around of 10, if not 20, years. I am sure it has gone through multiple version to make to the accuracy today. Thanks to the article, I now understand better where it shall be to get the best out of it. Wonderful work, Max!
As Benson said, pedometer overcomes certain limitation of GPS. Unargueably, pedometer doesn't really give you the most accurate distance in terms of miles or kilometers. Yet, GPS could overcome it. I wonder why the product with the combination of both has not come into market yet.
@Max: "Consider the first test shown above in which the Fitbit was attached to my shirt pocket. While walking on the treadmill, the Fitbit reported far fewer steps than I actually took"
The result is clear: the Zipbit is not Hawaiian-Shirt proof!!
The Zipbit webpage indicates that you must attach it close --nearly sticked-- to your body. As you wear loose Hawaiian shirt, as you point too the 3-axis accelerometer is not properly registering your actual movement.
Maybe you should try to wrap it in your chest with an elastic band -- or even adhesive tape, but I must recognize that I'm so furry for doing that test without the pain ;-)