Would a Pedometer Get You Moving?
Last updated: May 31, 2012
You've probably heard that keeping moving is a good thing. (For you and your loved ones!) Doctors often advise older patients to walk more. But telling them is one thing. More effective, it seems, is to hand over a prescription that includes a pedometer to measure the number of steps taken in a day, according to new research in the Annals of Family Medicine.
The typically recommended number of steps per day is 10,000. The average American takes barely half that many. (A 20-minute walk yields about 2,000 steps.)
Exercise for dementia and exercise for diabetes are often recommended to slow disease progress.
The new study was part of a New Zealand government program called Green Prescription, in which doctors prescribe exercise, and an exercise counselor follows up with calls to check how it's going, reports CNBC. Researchers in New Zealand and Australia added pedometers -- small devices usually worn at the waist that count the number of steps the wearer takes -- to the program. Pedometers cost around $20.
One group of sedentary 65-and-uppers got the pedometer and were told to focus on taking more steps; another was urged to spend more time being active.
One year later: The pedometer group had increased their leisure-time walking by an average of 50 minutes a week, compared with a 28-minute increase in the other group.
Both groups improved overall activity levels and blood pressure -- which means that any kind of gentle pressure to keep moving more is probably beneficial.
Image by Flickr user Glutnix, used under a Creative Commons license.
- Yes, Caregiving Is Stressful"¦But Maybe It's Also Good for You
- Stockbroker Striking Out? Maybe It's SAD
- Moneysaving Research: Skip the Supplements, Especially After 60
- Bobby Flay's Diet Plan Brings Home the Bacon
- To PSA or Not to PSA? Prostate Test Highlights That Not All Cancers -- or Medical Decisions -- Are Alike
- Using Maggots to Clean Wounds "“ Creepy or Curative?
- British Superbroccoli Fights Heart Disease, Cancer, Crime
- Is Classical or Classic Rock Better in the Operating Room?
- A New Study "“ and Insightful Commentary -- in Favor of Living Wills
- Celebrate the Ways Steve Jobs Made Aging Easier (and More Fun)
- Too Much of a Good Thing: Researchers ID The 5 Most Overprescribed Tests and Drugs
- What Andy Rooney Would Do If He Could Live His Life All Over Again
- New Research: Don't Kick That Coffee Habit Just Yet