Pedometer challenge

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					Pedometer challenge
The pedometer challenge is a great way to have fun, increase the amount of activity you do each day
and help your health.

On average people take 3,000 to 5,000 steps a day, but this isn’t enough. It is recommended that
people	should	walk	10,000	steps	each	day	to	achieve	the	health	benefits	associated	with	physical	

Why 10,000 steps a day?
While	any	increase	in	activity	will	benefit	your	health,	achieving	a	total	of	30	minutes	of	“moderate	
intensity”	physical	activity	a	day	on	five	or	more	days	a	week	will	produce	the	best	long	term	benefits	
for most people.

10,000 steps a day may not be a realistic goal for everyone. If you are very overweight or have other
health problems, you may need to set a more appropriate goal. If you are unsure, talk to your doctor.

For some people, the goal of 10,000 steps may be too low. If this is the case, try to add 500 steps
every time you feel you need a new challenge. Or you can make your walks more challenging: try to
walk up hills, walk faster or walk with arm or leg weights.

Why walk?
Walking is an ideal activity for improving health, just walk more and feel the difference. You can walk
anytime, anywhere and it’s free and easy to do. Walking is also safe, you can choose your own level by
starting slowly and building up gently, increasing the distance and pace at which you walk.

Walking can help you:
• feel better and look good
• increase energy levels
• improve sleep
• strengthen your heart and circulation
   increase	confidence	and	self�esteem
•	 increase confidence and self�esteem
• manage your weight
• improve body functions
• enjoy the environment.

Ways to add steps to your day
Add steps to your day. Think creatively! Think of walking as a way to have fun, get jobs done and
socialise with friends. Here are a few ideas to add steps to your day.

Why not walk:
• to school don’t get a lift
• at lunchtime
   up	the	stairs	(avoid	using	the	lift	or	escalator	for	less	than	three	flights)
•	 up the stairs (avoid using the lift or escalator for less than three flights)
• the long way to the shops
• after your evening meal (avoid sitting watching TV for long periods of time).

Find out what other people are doing and organise group walks following designated walking routes.

Pedometer challenge
Take care …. be safe
• Never walk alone. Always walk with an adult and make sure someone knows where you are walking.
• Choose comfortable, supportive shoes, such as running, walking or cross-training shoes.
• If you’re going for a longer walk, warm up with stretching exercises and include a cool-down period
   to reduce stress on your heart and muscles.
• Maintain a brisk pace. You should work hard to keep up your pace but still be able to talk while
• Practice correct posture – head upright, arms bent at the elbow and swinging as you stride.
•	 Be	careful	of	traffic.
•	 Wear	reflective	clothing	in	the	dark.
• Walk in well-lit areas, where it is fairly busy.
• Drink plenty of water before, during and after walking to cool working muscles and keep your body

Frequently asked questions

When do I wear the pedometer?
Anytime and anywhere! The more you wear it, the more steps you can log. See how far you can go at
work, at home, everywhere!

Can pedometers be tricked?
Yes by jumping up and down or shaking them. Sometimes other non-walking or running movements
will also trigger them. Jumping up and down or shaking is cheating!!

Where do I wear the pedometer to ensure I am tracking my steps accurately?
Most pedometers are worn on your waistband or belt between your belly button and hip for the most
accurate reading.

Pedometer challenge
What can I do other than walk?
Please refer to the table below alternative exercise ideas.

    10 minutes of moderate intensity activity =               10 minutes of high intensity activity
                   1,000 steps                                         = 2,000 steps

     Causes a slight, but noticeable increase in
                                                       Makes you ‘huff and puff ’. Talking in full sentences
  breathing and heart rate. You should be able to
                                                                between	breaths	is	difficult.
             maintain a conversation.
                                                       circuit training
 brisk walking
 leisure swimming
                                                       brisk rowing
                                                       fast cycling
 horse riding
                                                       brisk rollerblading
 active housework
                                                       brisk swimming.
 active gardening
                                                       Competitive sports
                                                       •Tennis singles.

How many steps does it take to burn a calorie?
Walking speed or exertion and body weight affect this so it’s different for everyone. But the average is
between 20-50 steps to burn a kilocalorie (calorie) of energy.

I get all kinds of ‘steps’ just wandering about, but shouldn’t I try to go for a longer walk as well?
Pedometers count every step you take so they add up. In short, the answer is yes. It is great to be
accumulating steps here and there, however a longer continuous walk of 30 minutes or more would
have	additional	benefits	like	stress	relief	and	fitness.
Remember to aim for at least an hour of physical activity each day.

Pedometer challenge
The	British	Heart	Foundation	recommends	you	do	10,000	steps	a	day	to	stay	fit	and	healthy.

Are you up for a challenge?
How many steps can you do in a week?
We are looking for the person who takes the most steps in a week!

All you have to do it use your pedometer and record the number of steps you have taken at the end
of	each	day	for	a	week.	You	need	to	get	a	parent,	guardian	or	summer	scheme	leader	to	confirm	the	
number of steps (you will only be cheating yourself if you make the numbers up!).

Name …………………………………………………………………..
Name of youth group…………………………………………………

                                    Number of steps           Signature		to	confirm	steps
             Total number
            of steps for the

We will giving out a prize to the youth group who achieves the most steps in May, June and July 2008.
The prize will be play equipment for the youth group.

We will announce the winners on our website at

Return completed forms to:

                               Health Development
                               Environmental Health Service
                               Belfast City Council
                               The Cecil Ward Building
                               4-10 Linenhall Street
                               BT2 8BP

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