How many steps does it take to make dinner
If while waiting for an exceptionally long train to lumber through a railway crossing, you see a woman standing beside her car marching on the spot and stretching, it could be me.
I’m also the one in the line at the bank and the grocery store who is doing a little shuffle on the spot and pacing while waiting for the pedestrian walk signal at intersections. Although it may look like I need to find a washroom, these are actually symptoms of pedometeritis, a syndrome induced by the wearing of a pedometer. The reaction becomes more intense when one is participating in a challenge that involves potential prizes for logging 10,000 steps a day for a month.
A further enticement to engage in the workplace challenge was the offer of a free Fitbit, a high-tech pedometer that will whip you into shape if you let it. This digital carrot on a stick has fed my competitive nature and has provided me with interesting information. For instance, shopping requires a lot of steps, even regular grocery shopping. I ramped it up by exploring the new Costco in our neighbourhood, aisle by aisle, an exercise that rivaled my long evening walks for pedometerage.
Logging a 10,000-step day isn’t difficult, although some days I have to do a lap around the block before bed to get to that magic number. About 10 minutes of brisk walking adds up to 1,000 steps. Pedometeritis is treated by two big walks a day, taking the long way back to one’s desk from washroom and water cooler breaks, offering to run to the printer for co-workers and parking as far away from a destination as possible without working up a sweat. It must be noted that walking on the spot at one’s desk while reading emails etc. is not cheating. Attaching the pedometer to your dog’s collar is cheating.
Could attaching a pedometer to our kids ramp up their level of physical fitness? Before I promote a pandemic of pedometeritis, I’ll see if the symptoms linger past the end of the challenge.