Walking Works institutes step limits

October 26, 2006

The fall 2006 edition of Walking Works is in full stride with 138 teams and many more individuals enrolled. Beginning on week five (week of Oct. 14), participants are required to log 5,000 or more steps on five or more days of the week to qualify for health reimbursement account (HRA) points.

Logging fewer than 5,000 steps per day qualifies an individual as sedentary, according to an emerging definition. Because the overall goal of Walking Works is to encourage more physical activity, 5,000 steps per day is a minimal goal for those new to being physically active.

Walking Works also has set a maximum limit of 22,000 steps per day. Many participants are familiar with the goal of 10,000 steps per day as one that supports good health. Some experts say that 15,000 steps per day is the amount needed to support a weight-loss program. Beyond that, the jury is still out, and quality over quantity is probably more important. A side step back and forth while standing in line will probably register on the step counter but is worth very little in terms of energy expenditure. Those who find themselves at this upper limit of steps should begin focusing on the traditional exercise goal of 30 or more minutes per day of continuous, moderate-intensity activity in addition to their daily steps.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009