Use of a pedometer to measure the number of steps a person takes in a day can help them to become more physically active, lose weight and reduce their blood pressure, experts have said.
A study by scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine reviewed over 2,000 existing studies on pedometers and found that pedometer users in randomised trials tended to increase their physical activity by 2,491 steps a day.
Dr Dena Bravata, a senior research scientist in medicine at the university, said: "Much to my surprise, these little devices were shown to increase physical activity by just over 2,000 steps, or about one mile of walking per day.
"This goes a long way toward helping people meet the national guidelines for daily physical activity."
Pedometer users also lost weight, with their BMI decreasing by 0.4 on average. This equals a loss of 2.5 pounds for a person measuring 5 ft 6 inches who initially weighed 195 pounds.
The researchers also noted improvements in blood pressure, leading to a reduced risk of stroke or heart disease.