Monday, October 11, 2010

US out of step with world on walking, study shows

Americans have got some walking to do if they want to catch up with the rest of the world. They are far outpaced by Australians, Asians and Europeans who walk much more, according to a study.

Adults in western Australia average 9,695 steps a day. The Swiss followed with 9,650, while the Japanese clocked in with 7,168 steps. But Americans straggled far behind with just 5,117 steps.

"We were surprised that the levels of physical activity were that low," said Dr David R Bassett, of the University of Tennessee, the lead author of the study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

"Five thousand steps is really pretty inactive," he added.

Bassett said Americans need to step up for another 30 to 40 minutes a day to shrink the fitness gap. One mile equals about 2,000 steps.

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