Push-Up Pal: Count the ProgressCase # 1104

Technology Contact

A. Carlyle Rogers, PhD
Phone: 252-737-1648


 Push Up Pal




According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention less than half of all adults meet Physical Activity Guidelines. Furthermore, less than 3 in 10 high school students get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Although technology may be a causative factor in sedentary behavior, technology can be used as a motivational tool for physical exercise and reinforce proper exercise form.


Dr. David Rowe of the School of Psychological Sciences and Health at the University of Strathclyde and Dr. MatthewMahar, Interim Chair of Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at East Carolina University have developed the Push-Up Pal, an inexpensive device that accurately counts and detects is pushups are performed correctly. Easily adaptable to different individuals, the Push-Up Pal hangs from the neck of a user and records each pushup achieved in the correct downward position. In addition to an easy to read digital display, the Push-Up Pal can voice-alert users to the total number of push ups completed. Accuracy is vital in physical fitness environments requiring achievement of base line standards, such as fitness tests for military, police and fire personnel.


  • Low Production Costs
  • Convenient Travel Size
  • Suitable for Almost All Ages
  • Promotes Proper Form


  • School Physical Fitness Classes 
  • Home Use 
  • Personal Trainers 
  • Military Physical Fitness Tests

Selected Publications

Baumgartner, T., Jackson, A., Mahar, M., &Rowe, D. (2015). Measurement for evaluation in physical education and exercise science (9th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones &Bartlett.

Mahar, M. &Rowe, D. (2008). Practical guidelines for valid and reliable youth fitness testing. Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science, 12, 126-145.

Inventor Profile

Dr. David Rowe is a former physical education teacher and coach who has spent his career since 1979 teaching and studying physical fitness and exercise. He has over 60 publications on topics related to the measurement of fitness, physical activity and obesity and is co-author (with Dr. Mahar) of one of the leading textbooks in measurement in exercise science. He has received multiple teaching and research awards in his career as a university professor. Click to learn more...

Dr. Matthew Mahar is a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Founding Director of the Activity Promotion Laboratory. His research focuses on the promotion and measurement of physical activity and fitness in youth. He has expertise in the measurement aspects of physical activity and fitness and is a member of the FITNESSGRAM®Scientific Advisory Board. Click to learn more...