Curiosity compels me to count.
People have suggested my proclivity for counting and tracking such things is indicative of some form of OCD or other mental abnormality. I just think it’s reflective of my scientific nature. I wonder about something and then collect data to get the answer.
Number of steps needed for weight control
That’s why this story about researchers counting steps to figure out how many people should be taking is comforting. I’m not the only eccentric that counts steps for the sake of science. Of course, I might be the only step counter who joggles.
Anyway, scientists from around the world develop these recommendations based on pedometer studies. For weight control the number of steps you take differs depending on your age and gender. The table below shows the suggested steps-per-day.
Age women – Steps per day
- 18-40 12,000 steps per day
- 40-50 11,000
- 50-60 10,000
- 60+ 8,000
Age men – Steps per day
- 18-50 12,000
- 50+ 11,000
So, how did they get these recommendations?
Well, they tracked the study participant’s steps using a Yamax/KeepWalking LS2000 pedometer and measured BMI over time. Then they found the minimum number of steps that correlated with BMI or weight control and used those as the basis for recommendation.
When I saw these numbers it got me thinking about the distance they were talking about. This is a rough estimate.
1 step = 2 feet
12,000 steps = 24,000 feet
24,000 feet = 4.5 miles
So, according to these scientists if you want to control your weight you should be walking (or running) at least 4.5 miles a day. Wow, that seems high.
For me, that would be only be about 79 trips to the coffee room. Yikes!