Pedometer Experiment

I’ve been wearing a pedometer this week.
It’s small, cheap and probably terribly inaccurate, but it’s been really interesting!

  • Tuesday, for example, I got around 9800 steps, including a step class.
  • Wednesday, I got closer to 7800 steps, but didn’t wear it from 7pm onwards (took it off to teach Balance and then forgot it and my mobile phone on the stereo at work… duh (luckily, no one ever calls me …))
  • Thursday I got another 7800ish steps without including my PT session, which I did without my pedometer because it was sitting in the stereo cabinet with my phone… duh. But I didn’t do Attack or go for a run (shame), so I could have had a whole lot more steps!
  • Friday I didn’t do any ‘formal’ exercise at all, but it was a HUGE day at work, and we had a staff dinner that I kinda organised, and I got 10,980 steps! How awesome! This was a day that I felt like I exercised! Of course, all the food eaten at the dinner probably un-did all of those incidental steps.
  • Saturday I was quite disapointed – I only got about 4700 steps! And it was a busy day!
  • I left it on (didn’t reset it) and on Sunday I got a total of 10,544 steps… for both Saturday and Sunday combined!

I was really finding it interesting, and a little bit confusing. Afterall, I had been VERY active for Saturday and Sunday. Lots of cooking, cleaning, weeding, moving, polishing, shifting, lifting, grunting, washing and so on, and yet my numbers were really low! But today, I think I may have discovered the problem:

I reset the pedometer today to 0 and headed off to work. At about lunchtime I checked it and had around 4500 steps. Doing good! But then at about 3:00 I checked it again, and it had gone DOWN to 3200 steps! WHAT THE…? I wasn’t walking backwards! Seriously, that’s so weird! Despite this technical setback, I continued to wear the pedometer for the rest of the day, did a 4km run on the treadmill (4.7km including warm up and cool down) and managed to bring my total back up to 9800ish.

I was going to write about getting 10,000 steps and how difficult it is, and why incidental exercise is important, and so on and so forth. However, in light of the cheap unrealiability of the predometer I have, I have to say this little experiment of mine is a great big fail!

What I will allow myself to conclude is that despite having a ‘fairly active job’ I would probably not be able to get 10,000 steps in a day with just incidental exercise alone. Without some planned, prescriptive, purposeful exercise I would struggle to hit that target. Which, one can deduce, means that those who have very sedentary jobs would find it even harder, and that’s where that planned movement becomes so important! Especially when you consider that 10,000 steps is a minimum!

What do you think? Should I keep trying the pedometer thing?

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