It’s easier than ever to walk off the pounds, lower your blood pressure and decrease your risk for heart disease and stroke,  and it may only cost you $20.

Pedometers, or step counters, have been found to increase the physical activity of those using them, but only if walkers kept records of their daily walking routine, says Dr. Dena Bravata of Stanford University. The devices range from $5 to $60 and clip easily to a belt or waistband.

The report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, examined 20 studies from Canada in addition to six from Japan, Europe and Australia, and showed that users increased their physical activity by 27 percent and tended to walk an additional mile per day when counting their steps.