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Step It Up!

A new article published in the July 10th edition of Nature should inspire you to get moving because Canada ranked below the global average for daily steps taken. This study used data collected from the smartphone app Azumio Argus to track activity levels from 717 527 individuals in 111 countries over 68 million days. They found the average user recorded 4961 steps per day, equivalent to burning the calories consumed in two eggs (~133 calories). Canadians averaged only 4819 steps per day.

Interestingly, this study found the average number of steps taken by a country did not correlate with obesity rates. A better predictor was found to be activity inequality – the gap between the most active and least active people within a county. In fact, individuals from the five countries with highest activity inequality (United States, Egypt, Canada, Australia and Saudi Arabia) were 196% more likely to be obese than individuals from the five countries with the lowest activity inequality (Hong Kong, China, Sweden, South Korea, Czech Republic).

There are limitations to how the data was collected, such as the requirement for individuals to always have their phone on them, and smartphones are unable to capture all physical activities. The data shows Canadians have room for improvement, so the next time you are thinking about what to spend your evening doing…skip the couch and get stepping.

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