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Old 09 November 2011, 09:52 PM
hstarr hstarr is offline
Join Date: 07 March 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 56
Default Average American only walks 350 yards a day

I'm not sure where to put this topic. Hopefully here is OK. I did a search and surprisingly didn't come up with any discussion of this so decided to post.

I just saw this "fact" show up on Twitter today:
"The average American walks only 350 yds per day. The rest of the time people are transported by mechanized vehicles."

So I went to research it.

Here is an old discussion on the Straight Dope message board about the source for this statement. It appears the statistic was used in two books by Bill Bryson:

One Notes from a Big Country:

"A researcher at the University of California at Berkeley recently made a study of the nation's walking habits and concluded that 85 per cent of people in the United States are "essentially" sedentary and 35 per cent are "totally" sedentary. The average American walks less than 75 miles a year – about 1,4 miles a week, barely 350 yards a day."

And the other "A Walk in the Woods":

"Every twenty minutes on the Appalachian Trail, Katz and I walked farther than the average American walks in a week. For 93 percent of all trips outside the home, for whatever distance or whatever purpose, Americans now get in a car. On average the total walking of an American these days -- that's walking of all types: from car to office, from office to car, around the supermarket and shopping malls -- adds up to 1.4 miles a week, barely 350 yards a day. "

I can't find the researcher/study to back up this statement. Can any of you?

Here is a more recent study that shows "Americans, on average, took 5,117 steps a day." Or 2.56 miles (2,000 steps=1 mile according to the article) , far more than 350 yards.
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