Pedometer: FSA Eligibility
What is a pedometer?
A pedometer is a device that counts an individual's footsteps. Most pedometers are electronic or electromechanical and count the motion of walking or of the individual's hands or hips. Calibration was once required for pedometers but with the advent of GPS technology, modern pedometers can self-correct to track distance versus footsteps taken. The most modern pedometers are just smartphone applications and don't require any additional hardware (MedicineNet.com).
Pedometers have gained popularity in recent years among health enthusiasts and health-conscious individuals at home who are keen on tracking their journey to a healthier lifestyle.
Some say that 10,000 steps per day indicates an "active lifestyle" and is a recommended goal for daily steps. Experts in pedometry and walking and active lifestyles debate this figure. 10,000 steps are about 5 miles or 8 kilometers (Live Science).
Pedometers are mainly useful when it's hard to otherwise justify walking without constant positive reinforcement from a digital counter. A recent Microsoft study on Canadians who use technology indicates that attention spans have fallen from an average of 12 seconds to an average of 8 seconds, just 1 second below that of an average goldfish. Regardless of nationality, a pedometer is a great tool for overcoming a short attention span or inability to walk for extended lengths of time without a digital device indicating success, progress, and great rewards to come.
With a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN), a pedometer's purchase costs can be considered eligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare account. Pedometers can also be replaced by a brain and a pace count, where in a known distance is paced out several times to account for variability. After this time, the individual can average the number of paces required to walk that distance, and then count their steps. This requires mental energy and an attention span or use of counters that might help keep track of the number of "laps" walked already, for example.