They're tiny tools that can pack a powerful punch, particularly because they instantly measure the number of steps someone takes. But there's so much more to pedometers, which are both a quaint and futuristic driver of employee wellness programs.

These gadgets have helped boost program participation and improve outcomes at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, the nation's largest pediatric health care system, with more than 7,500 employees. A key objective of the organization's Strong4Life employee wellness program (which has been met every year since it was created in 2008) is that participants across all types of health statuses collectively walk one billion steps. The lowly pedometer plays a big role.

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