An October 2010 study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise examined the number of steps Americans take each day and compared those averages with citizens of other countries around the globe.
Nearly 2,000 adults wore pedometers for two days, and the data collected showed that the average American took 5,117 steps per day – far below the averages in western Australia (9,695 steps), Switzerland (9,650 steps) and Japan (7,168 steps). And while we wouldn’t think of our day-to-day walking habits in terms of steps, the difference between the American average and the other countries observed is equivalent to 30-40 minutes of walking each day.
Is there a direct tie between the relatively low number of steps we take each day and the prevalence of obesity in the U.S.? A recent TeleVox survey confirms that both patients and providers understand how walking and wellness can go hand in hand. The TeleVox Healthy World report The Obesity Epidemic notes that 90% of patients and 97% of providers believe that diet and exercise are the biggest causes of obesity. Furthermore, 78% of Americans said they could benefit from losing weight right now.
To achieve these fitness goals, many of us will be pounding the pavement in 2014. But where should we do it? Are our communities built to support our fitness goals?
Prevention.com recently shared its list of The 25 Best Cities for Walking, with Cambridge, MA taking the prize for most walkable U.S. city. Out of a possible score of 100, Cambridge received an 88.8. New York, New Jersey, San Francisco and Berkeley round out the Top 5.
Curious to see how your own city stacks up? Visit WalkScore.com to get results for your area. Ours has a Walk Score of 32. Looks like we’ve got some work to do around here!