The Pedestrian Disparity


I’ve been trying to be more active since I joined Weight Watchers in the spring.  The operative term here is try.  There aren’t many exercises I actually enjoy doing.  However, I do like walking.  I bought a pedometer a few months ago; one of those little plastic dongles that hangs off your belt and counts the number of steps you’ve taken.  I laughed when I heard you should take 10,000 steps a day.  I figured that was about 9,900 more steps than I normally took.  However, my little blue pedometer informed me I average about 3,000 steps.  When I add in my walk around the park by the fairgrounds, that adds another 5,000 or so.

The little blue pedometer faded out a few weeks ago.  Luckily, I had another pedometer courtesy of my 20th high school reunion.  I slipped my new – red – pedometer on my belt and went about my daily routine… or so I thought.  I was surprised – actually shocked – to see I finished the day with less than 5,000 steps!  While it is possible I might have been slacking off, the next day I definitely wasn’t.  I went through all the things I normally do and was again surprised to see such a low count. 

So, I went over to Wal Mart and walked about 310 steps to the battery aisle and picked up a new button cell for Ol’ Blue.  I had the red one on one hip, blue on the other, my MP3 player in my pocket.  I headed over to the park and did a couple of experimental loops to come up with the following results:

  • Blue – 5,584 steps
  • Red – 4,470 steps

You’ll have to take my word I didn’t hop 20% of the way around the track.  As far as I know, every time my right leg took a step, my left one quickly followed suit.  I’m sure there are other experiments I can try to prove my current hypothesis (one of these pedometers is a piece of crap), but they’ll have to wait.  I added up the results of the two pedometers and came up with 10,054.  My work here today is done!

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