It’s estimated that humans – or rather our hominid ancestors – became bipedal three to six million years ago, walking on two legs because it was easier to carry stuff and required less energy. These days many of us hardly walk at all. It requires energy. Read this and take the appropriate steps.
- Experts suggest walking at least 6,000 steps a day to improve health; 10,000 a day to lose weight.
- An average city block is equivalent to 200 steps. A 20-minute walk equals 2,000 steps or about one mile.
- The United States walks the least of any industrialized nation. The average Australian takes 9, 695 steps per day (just a few short of the ideal 10,000), the average Japanese takes 7,168; the average Swiss: 9,650; and the average American: just 5,117.
- Walking is reportedly the most popular form of exercise in the United States.
- An estimated 18 percent of the world’s population suffers from somnambulism or sleep-walking. These steps do not count.
- In 1970, 66 percent of American children walked to school; today it’s 13 percent.
- A 150-pound man burns 100 calories per mile walking. A 200-pound man burns 133 calories per walking mile. And a 250-pound man burns 166 calories per mile. A person burns essentially the same number of calories whether they run or walk a mile. Running just gets you there faster, though it’s also better for conditioning the heart and lungs.
- One study, conducted in 2000, found that walking regularly – three times or more every week for at least half an hour) saved $330 annually in health care costs.
- Women who walk at least 90 minutes per week have significantly better cognitive function than women who walk less than 40 minutes per week. The mortality rate among retired men who walk less than one mile per day is almost twice that of retired men who walk more than two miles per day.
- To burn off the calories of a single plain M&M candy requires walking the length of a football field.
- It would take, on average, 1 hour and 43 minutes of walking to burn off a 540-calorie Big Mac. It would take seven hours to burn off a super-sized meal of a Coke, fries and Big Mac.
- In 2000, Canadian neon sign salesman 45-year-old Jean Beliveau set out for a walk. He finished 11 years later. Beliveau holds the record for the longest uninterrupted walk around the world: 46,600 miles across six continents and 64 countries. He wore out 54 pairs of shoes.
- Beliveau lollygagged. The world is roughly 25,000 miles in circumference. The average walking rate is 3 miles per hour. A person walking nonstop could theoretically circumvent the world in just 347 days.
- It would take about 225 million years to walk one light-year at the pace of a 20-minute mile. A light-year is the distance light travels (at 186,282 miles per second) in one calendar year, or about 5.9 trillion miles. We’d better get started.