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Exercise Column

10,000 steps is twice the national average

The 10,000 step prescription I give is the commonly recommended dose by most health professionals and equates to 45 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity in addition to lifestyle activity.

In a review article in Exercise and Sports Science Review, John P Peters wrote an article entitled: "Obesity Prevention and Social Change: What will it take?" In the article Peters quotes data from a recent national survey of physical activity levels (assessed by pedometers worn for several days) which showed that the average American walks only approximately 5300 steps, half the recommended level.

He also cites data from other studies on populations that live a life similar to our forebears a century ago, such as the Amish, who average 18,000 steps per day among the men and 14,000 steps among women. In the study the incidence of obesity among the Amish men and women were 0% and 9%, respectively. Much lower than the national average of 30% obesity and another 30% or more of adult Americans are overweight.

So keep on stepping. Getting those extra steps is a great way to increase your daily activity and to help burn some extra calories in a non-structured and enjoyable way.

Written by Dr. Sternlicht for www.jeffshealthclub on 2.05.06