Monthly Letters to Pulmonary Patients by Thomas L. Petty

Thomas L. Petty, M.D.

Professor of Medicine, 
University of Colorado

Chairman, National Lung Health Education Program (NLHEP)


National Lung Health Education Program
A collaborative project with



HealthOne Center
1850 High Street
Denver, CO 80218
Phone: 303 839 6755
Fax: 303 832 8137


February 2003

Second Wind
Lomita, California

Dear Friends;

     My daughter bought me a pedometer fro Christmas. It is very sophisticated. After programming it for length of stride and weight, it records how many steps you walked in a period of time, the distance walked in miles or kilometers, the calories burned which relates to how far you walked and how much you weigh, the time of day and it even records how much of the day you were active and walking. It is a simple little device that clips firmly to your belt and allows you to monitor and record the activities of daily living when you are not a couch potato but are active around your home, out in your garden, and walking outside. It can be very good as a monitor of exercise on a daily basis, which is central to the successful pulmonary rehabilitation program.

     What the pedometer does not tell you is probably even more important. What was the weather? Were their sounds of birds chirping? Did the sunlight feel good on your face as you walked along the beach? Did you feel better after walking? Did it stimulate your appetite? How well did you sleep?

So the pedometer records performance and time spent in activity but not the quality of the experience. What we really need is a "qualometer". I don't know exactly how to design one but I can imagine that it is all in the eye of the beholder.

I'll be in touch next month.

Your friend,

  Thomas Petty, MD

Last update:
20 Mar 2003