Americans Get a Failing Grade for Walking
March 14, 2011
By Linda T. Gottlieb, MA, CPT, CET
I read a very interesting article in the IDEA fitness journal recently that I felt I just had to share with you. Yes, you! Sitting on the sofa, in front of that incredibly large screen HD TV, or exercising your fingers online in your Facebook, Twitter or YouTube life.
While it may not come as a big surprise, a new study has determined that Americans don't walk much compared with people in other nations.
The author of a Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise study equipped 2,522 Americans aged 13 and older pedometers. Results showed that the subjects took an average of 5,117 steps per day. Young, single men with higher education and low body mass index tended to walk most. Eating habits and living environment were not associated with steps per day.
According to the research, Americans scored far lower on the walking scale than study participants in other countries. Australians averaged 9,695 steps, followed by the Swiss at 9,650 and the Japanese at 7,165. "We conclude that low levels of ambulatory physical activity are contributing to the high prevalence of adult obesity in the United States," stated the authors.
How do you stack up on steps per day? If you had to grade yourself, would you also receive an "F" for your efforts in fitness?
The American Cancer Society has a resounding message for you: Avoid Inactivity!
Get yourself and inexpensive step counter and see how much you really move in one week (weekdays and weekends can be extremely different for many, so make sure you assess your steps for a full 7 days). The ultimate goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day, but don't worry, ANY increase over your normal baseline steps is, well, a step in the right direction!
Let me know how you do!