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How many steps to the middle of a…??

August 22, 2010
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100 steps to the bathroom and back to my desk.

2000 steps around the park on my daily lunch walk.

50 steps to the water cooler and back to my desk.

Have you ever tracked how many steps you take every day?  I never had until this summer, when I wore a pedometer for six weeks as part of a work wellness challenge.  My company sent me a pedometer and I wore it as much as I could over the six weeks to log my steps to meet the daily goal of 7500 steps that I had set for myself.

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 Picture from http://heartmonitors.org/pedometers.html

Here’s a re-cap of what I learned over the six weeks:

1.  I sit a lot at work.  A LOT.  Wearing a pedometer and seeing I only had a few hundred steps at lunchtime was really eye-opening (and that’s including a couple of those 100-step-trips to the bathroom!).  Checking my step total during the day was a great reminder to get up and go for a walk around the building and to not skip my usual walk at lunch. 

2. Be careful of the location of your pedometer and the movement of your hand on those bathroom trips.  I lost one pedometer to the porcelain god and had to continue the challenge with a back-up my co-worker happened to have.

3. Little things add up, especially things like running errands.  I took a lot of steps on days where I went to the mall, to Target, to the grocery store, etc.  And parking a few spots further back at each of those places helps, too.

4. Wearing a pedometer can also be a fashion challenge.  My work is very casual (read: people wear black jeans…eek), so I had no problem wearing it with  my (blue) jeans or khakis at work, although I didn’t always like how it looked!  I had to abandon it a few weekends because my favorite summer weekend wear is cotton dresses and there just logistically isn’t anywhere for the pedometer to go.  And when it came down to an outfit I wanted to look nice in for going out or whatever, even if there was a spot for the pedometer, I just couldn’t bring myself to wear it.  Plus I can only imagine that after a couple drinks any pedometer would suffer the same fate as #2 above.

5.  Taking breaks to walk at work is a really nice pause in the day.  This is something I have kept up even after the challenge.  I like to sneak out at least once in the morning when it’s still cool and walk a lap outside the building.  In addition to getting some steps in, I try to take this time to take a mental break too – to think about anything but work.  Walking is a great time to pause and think about what I’m thankful for.

Whether or not you have a pedometer, try to take time to get in a few extra steps this week, you might like it!

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