Posted on Mon, 1 Feb 10
Most people do not achieve recommended daily levels of physical activity for good health. Using a pedometer as a motivational tool it is possible to increase your daily activity levels, improve your health, lose weight, increases your level of awareness, motivate yourself, and find effective solutions for increasing your daily level of physical activity for the long term.
Regular physical activity is one of the most important ways to improve your health and prevent chronic life threatening diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer (1). Research has found that using a pedometer is an effective and inexpensive way to increase your activity levels, loose weight and improve your health (2).
The purpose of a pedometer is to measure your daily number of steps. The recommended steps per day are as follows (3).
Sedentary; less than 5,000 steps
Low activity; 5,000 - 7,499 steps
Moderately active; 7,500 - 9,999 steps
Active; 10,000-12,500 steps
Highly active; 12,500 steps or more
First, identify your daily step number then find ways to increase your activity levels to reach the target of 10,000 steps. These may include parking further away from where you are going and walking the rest of the way, walking to the corner store each morning for the paper, taking a 10-15 minute walk on your lunch break or walking regularly with friends, family, a dog or a local walking club.
It is important to your success to set a clear goal, for example; a three month challenge to increase your daily activity to 10,000 steps. Keeping a daily diary of your steps is also a great way to track your achievements. After time you may find that the extra activity simply becomes a normal part of your everyday life.
1. Lees SJ, Booth FW. Sedentary death syndrome. Can J Appl Physiol. 2004 Aug;29(4):447-6
2. Bravata DM, Smith-Spangler C, Sundaram V,et al. Using pedometers to increase physical activity and improve health: a systematic review. JAMA. 2007 Nov 21;298(19):2296-304.
3. Tudor-Locke, C., & Bassett, D.R. Jr. How Many Steps/Day Are Enough? Preliminary Pedometer Indices for Public Health. Sports Medicine. 2004; 34(1): 1-8.