Wednesday, August 17, 2011

712,958 Steps in 12 Weeks

A few months ago at work we got an irresistible offer to join a program meant to motivate people into keeping fit. Irresistible because it's completely free.
The deal is we get a free pedometer in the mail, and for 12 weeks we report our results on pedometer steps, exercise minutes, and weight management. I was less interested in the exercise and weight goals-- my weight is just fine. But I have come to develop a bizarre fondness for gathering data on things normally taken for granted, so having a pedometer was an alluring prospect.
My total: 712,958 steps.

Pedometer steps per day
My most active day (29,646 steps) was on May 29, when I joined a 10K fun run in the morning, then went to the Mall of Asia in the afternoon. Only one other day breached the 20,000 step level.
My least active day (1,138 steps) was on July 25, when I stayed at home all morning, slept all afternoon, and worked from home at night.

Pedometer steps per week, 12 weeks.
This weekly graph shows the same data but looks more stable, less affected by daily events.
Cumulative pedometer steps
The kit included a little booklet that I used to track my daily progress of steps, exercise minutes, and weight management. It also included a rough guide to how many steps you should be taking for a healthy lifestyle. The recommended number to aim for is 10,000.
  • Under 5,000 is Sedentary
  • 5,000-7,500 is Low Active
  • 7,500-10,000 is Somewhat Active
  • 10,000-12,500 is Active
  • Over 12,500 is Highly Active.
For me, simply getting to work means walking for about 1 km-- or 1200 steps-- so I'm already pretty much assured of 2,400 steps per workday. Still, only one third of my days reached that magical 10,000 step target. Worse, another one third of my days failed to reach even 5,000 steps-- which is classified not only inactive, but sedentary:
Other numbers to look at:

  • Days: 84
  • Total steps: 712,958
  • Most steps in one day: 29,646 (May 29)
  • Least steps in one day: 1,138 (July 25)
  • Average steps per day: 8488
  • Most steps in one week: 88,813 (Aug 1-7)
  • Least steps in one week: 36,869 (July 4-10)
  • Average steps per week: 59,413
  • Days with over 10,000 steps ("Active"): 28 (33%)
  • Days with under 5,000 steps ("Sedentary"): 33 (39%)
Assuming an average stride length of 80 cm (a figure I came up with just now from a few minutes of Googling), my total steps in those 12 weeks would add up to 570 km, which is approximately the straight line distance from Manila to Cebu.

The 12-week program may be over but I'm still wearing the pedometer this very moment. I think I'll decrease the tracking of my progress to a weekly basis now though, lest I lose my mind in graphs and statistics.

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