Pedometer Interview

Added on by Cole Pierce.
Amy Rudberg recently interviewed me as part of her ongoing project:

How I’m trying to help my Facebook friends (33): Interview with artist Cole Pierce and his pedometer.

What is a pedometer?
A pedometer is a step counter. It is a device that counts each step a person takes by detecting the motion of their hips.

How does your pedometer work with your cell phone?
After visiting Wikipedia, I learned that my cell phone uses an “embedded 2 axis MEMS inertial sensors to detect the steps a user takes.” My phone displays my steps on the external display. It counts detected steps during the day, and at midnight it stores the counter in a day-by-day history and resets it to zero. My height and weight are used to estimate the length of my stride.

When did you start using a pedometer?
I have been using a pedometer for about 2 or 3 months. My wife activated it for me without telling me. For a few days I wondered what the random numbers on the screen meant. Mostly out of curiosity, I check my step count a few times a day and before I go to sleep. I don't exercise regularly and feel a little guilty about it. If I walk over 5 miles in one day, my conscious is clear. I also feel physically better. And it’s better than sitting on my ass all day long. Walking 5 miles is not very hard; all and all I have my doubts as to whether or not it constitutes worthy physical activity. It seems very little compared to running, biking or swimming regularly. On a different note, I am amused that my phone tediously records something as banal as walking.

What is your daily goal?
My goal is to be better than average, which is currently 8,043 steps (about 4 miles). That is the distance I walk to and from work if I take the train. I question the accuracy of the average, which I guess is low if you factor in the days my battery is dead or if I don't have my phone in my pocket. On several occasions I've walked more than 10 miles, which feels like a real accomplishment.

What do you do to achieve your goal?
Not much. I just walk. I only drive when I need to haul stuff around or if the weather is bad. I don't take extra walks to try to up my step count, but I do try to keep my phone with me when walking. I am more conscious of the fact that my walking is being recorded and archived. I wish there was a web application that displayed this archive and my step count in real time on my blog.

Check out Amy's project here and here is some other stuff Amy is involved in: