The average American takes a little over 5,000 steps in one day, according to many studies requiring people to wear pedometers to measure activity. 10,000 steps is considered “active,” which should be your goal to maintain a healthy heart, and prevent diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Other countries that participated in the activity study were far more active than Americans, with Australians in the lead with an average of over 9,000 steps per day. Countries whose activity levels were higher had lower rates of obesity.
Why is America lagging behind? Some suggest it is a result of our fast-paced society. Many people simply do not have the time to commit to taking the stairs, walking or biking to work, or going out for a walk over their lunch hour.
Our challenge to you this week is to take a good look at your activity level–perhaps even wear a pedometer and measure your steps. Fewer than 5,000 a day is considered sendentary, 5,000 to 7,499 is low active, 7500 to 9,999 is somewhat active, and 10,000 + is active. Find ways to increase your activity levels throughout the day, even through simple changes such as taking the stairs in your building, parking farther away in a parking lot, or taking a quick stroll around your neighborhood after dinner.