10,000 Steps a Day is the latest mantra to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and reducing high blood pressure and glucose levels. There are many articles on the web that promote this campaign. Google it. In her article, The Truth About 10,000 Steps (Live Science, March 2014), Rachel Rettner points out that there isn’t any scientific research that pinpoints 10,000 steps as being the mark for obtaining a healthy life. Experts agree that any amount of increased activity helps to reduce the health risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle. She points out that 10,000 Steps is merely a marketing campaign for the sales of pedometers and activity tracking devices. So, is that deceitful marketing? If you benefit from it, I don’t think so.
Stepping out on Wednesdays at Stony Brook.
As a diabetic, I know I need to add exercise to my daily routine. I have a sedentary job that causes me (out of my passion) to work, at times, beyond 7 or 8 hours a day and some weekends. I plan daily exercise time, but things come up and there’s always tomorrow. Tomorrow turns into weeks and weeks into months. I get determined and start a routine, but it doesn’t last.
I recently purchased a Fitbit activity tracking device with a web monitoring system for steps, activity, sleep, water and food intake, and weight. I invited my friends with Fitbits to join in on the website so we can encourage one another. Fitbit awards badges for fitness and healthy lifestyle achievements. We created a stepping and activity community. My stepping goal is 10,000 steps. I check my steps throughout the day. Yesterday, I saw that I was at a mere 3,000 steps. I pushed away from my desk and walked up 5 flights of stairs in the Melville Library. I walked the 4th and 5th floors, saying hello to my colleagues in the hall. After 15 minutes, I returned to my desk and worked. I added 2,000 steps and logged high activity moments. YAY! My glucose levels have come in around 90. Double YAY!
The success goes beyond tracking steps and activity. It’s gamification. Gamification is the use of design elements characteristic for games in non-game contexts…making routine challenging and fun. You set a goal and establish rules (fun and flexible), take on a problem solving mindset with the challenge, allow for positive feedback (community), and go for the epic win (reward…results). Badges of Achievement are proven motivators for reaching set goals. Include them. Think gamification, again, Google it.
I also joined in with my two daughters and their friends in a private Facebook group, Clean Eating and Hard Training. We trade healthy recipes, post “sweaty selfies” of ourselves after a workout, and cheer each other on. I post my Fitbit numbers. My daughters always comment on how proud they are of me and I’m proud of them. We give each other Shoutouts and badges of achievement…gamification.
I’ve long advocated with faculty to gamify their learning activities in the classroom to enhance student engagement. I’m putting my money where my mouth is and gamifying my goals for achieving a healthy lifestyle. Is 10,000 Steps a marketing ploy for companies selling their tracking devices? I truly don’t care as long as it helps me gamify my fitness activities and achieve my healty lifestyle goals. I want results and I’m getting them. I’d like to know your thoughts on 10,000 Steps and gamifying your fitness routines. Share your positive steps to a healthy lifestyle. Post a reply.