Walk It Off: Pedometers Push People to Lose Weight

Researchers note significant drops in blood pressure
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2007 7:23 AM CST
Marcy Ross walks across Main Street in Great Barrington, Mass., Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2007. Ross wears a pedometer which is seen on her hip. A $20 (euro13.53) fitness gadget stood up to multiple research...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – New research suggests that wearing a pedometer can significantly increase a person's daily physical activity, which in turn can lower weight and blood pressure. Pedometers, small devices worn on the hip that count steps, can cost as little as $15. Overall, pedometer users increased their physical activity by 26.9%, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

That's an average of 2,190 steps per day, the equivalent of more than a mile. The study found significant drops in blood pressure, which translates into fewer deaths from strokes and vascular diseases. Researchers estimate that if 10% of Americans followed a walking program, the country could save $5.6 billion in heart disease costs.