Nov. 30, 2009
The program tells participants to aim for 6,000 to 10,000 steps each day, equaling roughly three to five miles. More than half of American adults aren’t coming close to these numbers, and nearly 50 percent of people ages 12 to 21 are not “vigorously active,” according to the Surgeon General.
One participant, James Clark, a chemistry laboratory coordinator, said the experience made him add activity into his life. For instance, if he had to give a colleague a message, he would walk over to his or her office instead of sending an e-mail. He also did simple tasks such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking to Kirkwood Avenue with his wife for lunch.
Clark was motivated by the number his pedometer recorded. On average, Clark achieved 10,000 to 12,000 steps a day with some help from his soccer games.
“It was curious to me, to see how many steps I took,” Clark says. “If I didn’t take a lot of steps, I felt like I did nothing, so I went to the gym or went for a run.”
Step just a little more, Amadeo says. Ten minutes here, 10 minutes there. “How people utilize their time is a choice, not a limitation,” she says. “Making exercise a priority is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, even when life gets hectic.”