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In the quest for 10,000 steps, Americans lag behind, study shows

November 08, 2010|By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times
  • Americans walk but not as much as folks in other countries. Australia and Switzerland lead the pack among people who step it up.
Americans walk but not as much as folks in other countries. Australia and… (Alan Schaben / Los Angeles…)

When it comes to fitness, Americans may not be stepping up -- enough.

In the quest to log a recommended 10,000 steps a day, Americans trail other countries in daily walking, according to a recent University of Tennessee study. Australia and Switzerland lead the pack with adults taking 9,695 and 9,650 daily steps, respectively, while the U.S. comes in with just 5,117 steps.

So let’s not wait until the new year to start making the effort. A pedometer (and not even a fancy one) is about the only equipment needed to track your progress and start your own 10,000-step-a-day habit, writes the Exercists blog of the Baltimore Sun.

How far is 10,000 steps? Almost five miles with an average stride, according to the Walking Site. The website, which offers tips on how to work your way up to a 10,000-step day, reports that a sedentary person may average only 1,000 to 3,000 steps a day and that adding 500 daily steps per week is the smart way to arrive at the goal.

Once you are up to speed, buy a ticket to Australia or Switzerland and show off.

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