JUNE 16, 2010
It’s time for a reality check, America
Question: Do you know how many steps you take in any given day? You might not be as tuned in to your daily activity level as you think. A new survey conducted by Energizer shows that many Americans miss the mark when judging how active they are on a daily basis.
In the Energizer Reality Check Survey, when asked to estimate how many steps they take in an average day, 42 percent of study participants took fewer steps than they originally guessed. Many of those (36 percent) were off by 4,000 steps or more. That’s about two miles! Younger participants, ages 30 and under, were even more likely to overestimate (44 percent). And even those who were conservative about their estimates – the 58 percent that actually took more steps that they guessed – were way off.
Participants in the study were first asked to gauge their fitness levels and estimate the number of steps they take in an average day. Then they were provided with a pedometer to measure their actual steps over the course of one week.
“You have to know where you are in order to know where you’re going,” says fitness expert Denise Austin, who has teamed up with Energizer to help motivate Americans to take a proactive role in monitoring their fitness. “The best way to gauge your level of activity is to use simple tools – such as pedometers and heart rate monitors – that provide you instant information.”
Steps are the First Step
The study also revealed that many Americans are interested in walking as an easy way to incorporate exercise into their busy lives. Of the nine in 10 (90 percent) Americans who wish they could exercise more, 60 percent would rather opt to take more walks to increase their activity level and 58 percent would like to walk instead of using other transportation. Still others (32 percent) are thinking about more gym visits to get more active.
“When we rush around in our daily lives, it’s easy to think we are more active than we really are or not pay attention at all,” says Austin. “Understanding your activity level and incorporating walking and running are great ways to burn more calories and improve your cardiovascular health.”
The good news is that we are interested in better monitoring our activity level. More than half (57 percent) of the nation has never actively counted their steps, however 58 percent of Americans say they would be willing to do this in daily life, not just when exercising.
Austin recommends using a pedometer as a good starting point to educate yourself on your daily activity level. “See how many steps you take in a day and aim to increase your activity gradually,” Austin says. Austin also recommends using a heart rate monitor when working out to ensure you are exercising at the right intensity levels to meet your fitness goals.
“Being active is definitely the first step in getting more fit. Using a heart rate monitor can help you determine what zone you are working out in, including your cardiovascular endurance and weight loss,” Austin says.
Given that almost a third (31 percent) of Americans believe there is at least one hour during every day when they don’t even take a single step, opportunities abound to incorporate more activity at work or at home.
“Fidgeting and moving around is good,” says Austin. “People that can’t sit still burn up to 500 extra calories every day. If your work consists of a lot of time sitting at a desk, make sure you move around at least every 30 minutes – take advantage of breaks to take quick walks and stand up while you talk on the phone.”
Take the Energizer Reality Check Challenge
How active are YOU? Austin challenges you to guess how many steps you take in a day. Then wear a pedometer for a week and test how accurate you are. Post the results of your challenge on www.facebook.com/energizerbunny and see how you compare.
Energizer Holdings, Inc. [NYSE: ENR], headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of primary batteries, portable battery-powered devices, and portable flashlights and lanterns. Energizer is a global leader in the dynamic business of providing power solutions with a full portfolio of products including Energizer® brand battery products Energizer® MAX® premium alkaline; Energizer® Ultimate Lithium; Energizer® Advanced Lithium; Rechargeable batteries and charging systems; and portable flashlights and lanterns.
Energizer continues to fulfill its role as a technology innovator by redefining portable power solutions to meet people’s active lifestyle needs for today and tomorrow with Energizer® Energi To Go® chargers for rechargeable portable devices; charging systems for wireless video game controllers; and specialty batteries for hearing aids, health and fitness devices, as well as for keyless remote entry systems, toys and watches. Energizer is redefining where energy, technology and freedom meet to bring to market consumer-focused products that power the essential devices that help people stay connected and on the go at work and at play. Visit www.energizer.com.