Saturday, February 25, 2012

Is this thing on?

As part of Human Resources at work, I was involved in a "healthy eating/living" campaign for our employees nationwide.  Part of that campaign included distributing pedometers to our employees--encouraging them to move more both on the job and in their daily lives.

While I was writing a piece for the corporate newsletter on how to best use the darn thing, I decided to clip that mutha on for few days. After discovering a guideline for steps taken/activity level, I knew I was in trouble.  (This is the part where I imagine you checking your junk drawer for that old pedometer you threw in there years ago...)

This is what I found:

0-5000 steps = sedentary (otherwise known as "You are still in bed")
5001-7499 steps = low active - typical day w/out exercise (which I call "I sit on my butt all day")
7500 - 9999 steps = somewhat active (Criminy, when do we reach "active"??)
10000 steps -  active (omg - do realize how many steps this is? That's a lot of trips to the restroom at work)
over 12,500 steps = highly active (or "I'm doing a walkathon")

So, after a couple of days trying to remember to put the damn thing on and actually check it once in awhile, I finally share my adventures with my fellow co-workers.  I was mortified at how little I really do move. I mean, I knew that since I started working again, I spend too much time sitting at the computer, but I was really disappointed in my step count. The pedometer reminded me of how little I was moving and it motivated me to move more---which is the whole point, right?  I guess that is where I motivated my fellow employees to grab one and join me.

I dug out a pedometer for Jim (he is leaving next week, so I gave him one ahead of distribution to the rest of the office) and egged him on.  I knew he'd be cracking up with me on how pathetic our step count would be.  Why not share the misery, right?  And off we were, challenging each other to see who had the worst step count.

The following is better known as "Pedometer Wars":

  • Mid-way through the morning, I went to check my numbers and I accidentally re-set my pedometer. 
  • Jim was kneeling down to get a file--I had to notify him that crawling is not a recorded  movement on his pedometer.
  • Knowing I was low in numbers, Irene offered to walk with me to the post office and Wendy's on our lunch break. No, I did not get a frosty.
  • I learned that if you clip it on your bosom and "shake it", you can ring up lots of steps. And you look good too.
  • I also learned that if you clip it on your hips and "shake it", you can ring up lots of steps as well. AND you look good too. Well, that's what the men in the office said anyway.(I was getting really, really creative with increasing my step count without really walking--I think you can tell)
  • Pulling up and down your drawers to go potty adds a step or two (yes!)
  • You can kill a lot of time at work on a Friday discussing your step progress....or the lack thereof.
At the end of my day, which is around 2:00 p.m., I checked in with Jim.  At that point, I had logged around 4000 steps, counting the missing 1500 that I had lost with the reset of my pedometer.  Jim?  Well, we both laughed when he announced his total count of 359.  Seriously--359 steps.  He blamed it on his "Dorf"-like legs and I told him he just needs to shake it a bit more when he walks. Either way, it was sad on how little we all actually move in a single day.

I know what you are thinking right about now....."Where is my pedometer?" and "I wonder how many steps do I take in a day?".  Yeah, well, you don't wanna know.   It's probably not as good as you think it is.

Unless you "shake it" a lot.


Karen and Gerard said...

It is surprising how hard it is to get up to 10,000 steps a day. When I wore one (while working in an office) I'd only get between 3000-5000 a day. Then when I didn't think it was even counting my steps right, I quit using it. However, it did make me more aware and I did try to get more steps in whenever I could such as taking stairs instead of elevators, walking around the floor the long way back to my desk, etc. I still add steps whenever I can.

Lauren said...

My favorite thing about the pedometer is setting it for my stride! I take it very seriously and measure using a yard stick how long my steps are, and set the little ticker, etc. This takes a lot of time. Then after a few days of which I completely am not interested in how many steps I take, I totally forget about wearing it.

Rebecca Mecomber said...

Wow, I must be a contender for Jim, and I do NOT have a "dorf-like" walk. I am at home almost all day long, 24/7, so I know my numbers would be really, really low. Although I could clip the thing to my bosom, as per your suggestion, and watch the count go sky high. But I feel that would be cheating. My chest probably gets more "walking" than my legs...

Grace said...

No offense but that looks like a really cheesy pedometer and the cheesy ones don't work very well - Just sayin'

Lin said...

Karen--While this thing may not be accurate, I like how I'm more aware of how little I have been moving. It's a nice little plastic reminder to get up and MOVE!

Lauren--I have a good pedometer for walking at home that I set for my stride. This one is just a cheapy one to count steps. I'm not sure it's really good, but it is a good reminder to move more often.

Rebecca--The only time I moved more at home is when I went for walks and bike rides during the day. And I did so because I had the time to do it. Work gets in the way of that now...but I walk more in the office. It's a catch 22.

Grace--Oh, it is! It cost us a dollar or something. The point is to get people to be aware of how little they are moving each day. I like wearing it, even if it is inaccurate--it keeps me moving!

vanilla said...

I wore one at work for quite some time. Logged between 9000 and 13000 most days. Sit on my duff in the office? Yeah, right.

Now, though, most days would be a challenge to get it to 500. What? That's not sedentary, that's comatose!

Ann said...

I had one of those years ago and even though I'm on my feet and running around all day long my step count was way lower than I would have imagined it would be.

Jean said...

I agree that all pedometers are equal. I have had two that didn't work well.

What a job you have! Need any help?:)

BeadedTail said...

With my commute from my bedroom to my office in the next room I'm sure my step count is probably lower than Jim's. If it wasn't for having to let Sadie out, going to see why Angel is crying, filing water dishes and throwing nip jelly beans downstairs for Isabella, I wouldn't move all day!

Secondary Roads said...

I had trouble reading this post. The text kept shaking. (Oops, that was me laughing.) Then I had trouble concentrating because of the giggles coming from behind me. ("Someone" came in to check was had me laughing so.)

Petula Wright said...

I was "into" pedometers a few years ago until I realized how little I moved even with trying more. I guess working from home doesn't offer many opportunities for movement unless you get up every five minutes and walk across the room for a drink of water and do all of the chores, cleaning, etc. to add steps. Yea, I don't wanna know how many I walk now.

Katherines Corner said...

I wear my pedometer a lot. My goal is always 10,000. xo P.S. only two days left to enter the Sweetheart Giveaway :-)

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

I'm either walking a lot, or NOT. When I'm sedentary I do it right.

Tracy said...

hah, I love pedometers...we use to have a Fitness Club at the last school I was in and we'd wear them and the kids loved the competition of having more steps...what a great way to monitor yourself!

Lin said...

Vanilla--Wow! I walk around a lot at work, but not THAT much! I think you have earned the couch these days, pally.

Ann--Yeah, it's scary on how little we actually move. I'm working on changing that though.

Jean--I'm not sure how long these will last--they are just cheapy ones to get the point across. We hope to get our employees thinking about healthy eating and moving a bit more. It worked for me!

Beaded Tail--I find that I'm like that at home too. Although when I was a SAHM, we were very active going on bike rides and such. Working on the computer is KILLING me nowadays. Ugh.

Chuck--For the life of me, I can't figure out why Jim wants to go back to retirement. We have a lot of fun when he is there. ;)

Petula--Working at home is the worst, I think. You HAVE to work, so there you sit. and sit. and sit. At least I look busy when I get up and walk to the copy machine and such at work.

Katherine--Do you reach that goal daily?? That's pretty good if you do!

Sharkey--I would imagine that you wear out pedometers!

Tracy--It's just a tool to make you aware of moving. I think we should make a contest out of it at work, but I'm afraid I have shown everyone how to cheat. :(

vanilla said...

In the interest of honesty, I need to come clean. I truly did not think of this when I made the above statement, which is a true statement, but 5068 of those steps were the roundtrip from my home to my office and back.

Marg said...

That is so funny and pretty interesting too. I think it would be way too depressing to wear one of those gadgets. I would rather just think I am exercising. But it probably is a good idea. Too funny. Take care

Lin said...

Vanilla--Regardless, it COUNTS! It counts your steps in a day--not just at work. And if you are walking to work--more power to you! I have been parking further from the office just to increase my steps--anything to MOVE.

Marg--Accurate or not, that thing just reminds me to move and do a whole lot less sitting. I need that these days.

Diana - FreeStyleMama said...

I need to strap one on and get moving!

Helene said...

omg I have tears from this one....again
One "criminy" and I'm done! :-)