The American Medical Association recommends that people walk 10,000 steps a day. Last week I read an article by someone who thought people should actually walk 20,000 steps a day and noted that the Amish tend to walk 30,000 steps in a day. Someone is considered sedentary if they walk in the less than 3,000 step range. I went online and bought my new pedometer on the spot (pictured left).
With a mere five days of data here is what I have to report: Recommendation #1- Get a dog. I have basically put in between 3000 & 4000 steps a day walking my dog and without him I would not have cracked the 10,000 step plateau on any of the days. Here are my numbers for the first five days:
- Day 1-9,624
- Day 2- 9,695
- Day 3- 11,286
- Day 4- 11,995
- Day 5- 10,446
I bought a cool pedometer that records your steps and remembers them for weeks in the computer. It also counts aerobic steps that I take if I hit a certain speed. I like the one I bought but there are hundreds to choose from in every price range.
One of things that I noted in the studies that I have been looking at is most people stride length is an average of two and a half feet. You need to measure your stride length in order to set the pedometer up and mine measured two feet. I think the six inch difference is huge. It is my take that most people take strides that are way too long forcing them to hyperextend their knees and other bad stuff.
I didn’t teach yoga on either day one or two which is why I think I was under 10,000. I taught one class on both days three and four and when I teach I never stop walking around so that is definitely an added benefit of my job. My main exercise of late is balancing on the bongo board which doesn’t record any steps (Doh!)
Day four was my best day for stepping and that is because it was my longest. I went to a concert at night so instead of spending my final hours of wakefulness sitting in front of the TV on the couch, I was out and about listening to music. Even though I stood still for most of the two hour concert my day just never ended, I was walking from start to finish.
Yesterday I went to a friend’s house to watch football, a luxury I am not often afforded. I figured I was in for a 3000 step day but after the Giants won we had a little energy and went for an hour long walk in a beautiful park behind his house. One hour was 7000 steps.
My plan is wear the new pedometer for at least a month so that I forget that it is there and see how many steps I take on average. Sedentarism is a killer and we live in a profoundly sedentary time. It is so easy to avoid movement and our world is designed more and more to keep us in seats doing as little as possible.
I am glad that I live in Brooklyn because even though I have a car and use it a lot, it is impossible to not walk some. I fear for those suburban dwellers who don’t like to exercise, don’t have pets and have to drive everywhere to do anything. Life is about movement and it is eye opening to see how much you move or don’t move however the case may be.