Ah, the benefits of walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. Even then, those 2,000 steps put you at less than half the distance the average New Yorker treks every day, according to new data released by Withings, a consumer electronics company.
Making time for exercise (and yes, walking totally counts) provides some serious health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes Comparative effectiveness of exercise and drug interventions on mortality outcomes: metaepidemiological study. Naci H1, Ioannidis JP. British Medical Journal. 2013 Oct 1;347:f5577. Walking can also help maintain a healthy weight, so it’s not so surprising that the data below shows a correlation between increased daily steps and lower average weight. In fact, men in the top five states where people walk the most weigh an average 7.5 pounds less than their counterparts in states ranked 10 through 15; the difference is 7 pounds for women.
So where do people log the longest daily distance? If we’re talking regions, the west wins, with California, Oregon, and Washington all among the top six states on the list.
The average daily steps varies widely among the top 15—a New Yorker walks about a quarter of a mile, or 478 steps, more each day than someone in Wisconsin. But as a group, residents of the stepping states are more likely to walk to work than the average American. But if walking to work isn’t doable—say your route includes a four-lane expressway—there are plenty of other ways to get in the recommended 10,000 steps a day. When it's an option, take the stairs, opt for walk-and-talk meetings (seriously, your coworkers won’t be annoyed), or take a mid-afternoon stroll to clear your mind and get creative. And don’t forget your pedometer. One study found that these devices motivate users to walk more and help them set—and meet—daily walking goals General practitioners' views on the role of pedometers in health promotion. Patel A1, Kolt GS2, Schofield GM3, Keogh JW4. Journal of Primary Health Care. 2014 Jun 1;6(2):152-6..
Before you head out the door to start racking up those steps, check out our infographic below to find out if you live in one of the 15 states where people walk the most.
This article is part of our Connected Wellness series with Withings, a consumer electronics company dedicated to creating smart products to help you make healthy and balanced choices. We take our partnerships seriously, which is why we’ll never collaborate with a brand unless we profoundly believe in their mission. We think Withings fits that bill—we trust them to make a difference and they trust us to write great articles that (like everything on our site) are science-backed, informative, and original.
DISCLAIMER: We take our partnerships seriously, which is why we'll never collaborate with a brand unless we profoundly believe in their mission. We trust this partner to make a difference, and they trust us to write great articles that (like everything on our site) are science-backed, informative, and original.