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Counting to 10,000 Steps

Thursday, July 9, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Nathan Swartzendruber
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For a while, our toddler wanted to take a walk through the neighborhood every evening. At the same time, an acquaintance on Twitter shared how a fitness tracker had helped him walk a couple miles every day. So I got myself a Fitbit, a step counter that syncs its data to your computer, and aimed for 10,000 steps.

Our nightly walks kept this daily goal within reach. Our son would quick-step down the sidewalk, while I followed with the stroller. When he got tired, I'd settle him in and pick up the pace, heading down unfamiliar streets to add distance to our regular route.

Back home, the Fitbit uploaded the day's step-counts to my account, where they graphed my daily progress. Those charts got to me. You want to make them go up, keep that weekly average above 70,000 and find out what it feels like to hit 15,000 or 20,000 steps. My best day was 25,000 steps, almost 12 miles.

I got kind of addicted. Not to the extent David Sedaris did. In his New Yorker essay, "Stepping Out", 25,000 steps was his daily average (until he more than doubled that). But I started looking for excuses to walk to the grocery store or pick a landmark to hike to. My run lasted until the season changed and cold rains kept us in.

I don't know if a fitness tracker would have gotten me to start walking, on its own. And I'm wary of the interest insurance companies and employers are taking into employee health metrics. But on a clear night, it sure is nice to head out and watch your steps accumulate into thousands.

  • Nathan Swartzendruber, SWON Technology Educator

Summer Reading Program 2016: Wellness, Fitness and Sports

We're running toward next year's Summer Reading Program theme with a day-long workshop. Six presenters will help you plan your programs for a range of age groups. Join us September 1 at the Xenia Branch of Greene County Public Library. This event is sponsored in part through LSTA funds awarded by the State Library of Ohio.


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