BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A recent study measured walking rates in people from various countries, and identified those with most obese people. They noticed how the larger the gap was between active and sedentary people, the more overweight people were in that country.
For 95 days, researchers from Stanford University measured the number of steps made every day by 717,000 participants from 111 countries. They were able to keep track of their activity levels by using smartphones.
What is activity inequality?
They observed the average number of daily steps all over the world was 4,961. The United States is not among the top active states, ranking somewhere near the bottom of the list. It even scored below the global average, with 4,774 steps taken per day.
Researchers were able to notice the phenomenon of activity inequality. Each country has some people who are always on the go, while others tend to be less physically active. If the gap between them is big, then the number of obese people is higher.
US scored low on activity levels
The United States was the fourth country from the bottom of the list, with a huge gap between sedentary people and those who are more ‘activity rich’. This translates into a higher rate of obesity among Americans.
Gender was also an important factor which influenced activity levels among people. A gap is present there as well, as men tend to take more steps than women. Also, the inactivity drop is higher among women than among men, and they tend to be affected more by obesity.
After analyzing activity levels in the US, researchers were able to correlate these to the environment people lived in. Those cities friendlier for sports and physical activities, or even those which were more ‘walkable’, had the lowest gap in activity levels.
Image Source: Vandenberg Air Force Base