Read The Pedometer Test: Americans Take Fewer Steps, an article by Tara Parker-Pope published in the October 19 , 2010 New York Times Well Blog. Parker-Pope describes a study, in which adults wore pedometers for two days as they went about their daily activities. In the study, Pedometer-Measured Physical Activity and Health Behaviors in U.S. Adults (abstract), the 1,136 adults counted their steps each day. Compared to studies in other countries that measured similar walking movements, people in the United States walked a lot less, reporting an average of 5,117 steps per day.
According to the study’s abstract, “…men and women in the United States took fewer steps per day than those living in Switzerland, Australia, and Japan. We conclude that low levels of ambulatory physical activity are contributing to the high prevalence of adult obesity in the United States.”
If adult children aim to do what it takes to remain healthy, as well as keep our aging parents healthy, increased walking seems like a no-brainer, especially given how much exercise is associated with health and disease prevention.