Sedentary people in the USA generally move only 2000-3000 steps a day. Previous studies have shown that moving 6000 steps a day significantly reduces risk of death, and 8000-10,000 a day promotes weight loss.
How far is 2000 steps? It is about a mile. But the benefits for health and for weight management don't depend on you walking a mile all at one time, but simply adding in more steps throughout the day.
Pedometers Count Steps
By wearing a pedometer all day, you are motivated to add in extra steps whenever you can. There are many little trips that can add up to a mile or two a day - parking further from the door of your destination, taking the stairs rather than the elevator, pace around as you talk on the telephone, take a marching-in-place minute once an hour.
"All in all, it is entertaining to ponder that such a seemingly insignificant gadget may be of practical importance in the war on obesity!" said Catrine Tudor-Locke, Ph.D., Department of Exercise and Wellness, Arizona State University in the conclusion of a report by the President's Council of Physical Fitness and Sports, June, 2002.
Start Counting Your Steps
1. Buy a step counting pedometer. Top Picks for Pedometers
2. Set your pedometer How to Measure Your Stride Length
3. Wear your pedometer throughout the day.
4. See how many steps you take on an average day, then add 2000 steps to set your daily walking goal.
5. Chart your steps each day. Logs and Charts
6. Make a game or challenge of it with the free Webwalking USA Program
7. Join a walking program. Get daily walking assignments and tips with our free email newsletter programs.
- Walk of Life 10-Week Program: Our free program brings you a daily walking assignment, a walking lesson, a nutrition tip and healthy recipe, a motivation tip, and a community forum to share info with other walkers. The newsletter version starts monthly, or you can follow each day from the web.
- Step Counters Pedometer Walking Program: This 28-day program gives you daily tips on using a pedometer and adding more steps to your day.
- America On The Move: Chart your daily steps or walking minutes on this free website. You can join as a member of our Walking.about.com group.
Source:James O. Hill, et. al. "Obesity and the Environment: Where Do We Go from Here?" Science. 7 February 2003: Vol. 299. no. 5608, pp. 853 - 855.