Pedometer Challenge Week 2: Step Totals Suprising

By Megan Wilcox, APR, ThedaCare Media and Public Relations

Eye-opening. That’s the perfect word to describe how many participants in ThedaCare and ThedaCare Orthopedics Plus’ Pedometer Challenge feel after turning in their number of steps for last week.

To correspond with the Olympics and to make people more aware of their daily activity levels, I sent out pedometers and log books to local media, chambers of commerce, and business partners and asked them to record how many steps and miles they walk in a given week. (One mile equals between 2,000 and 2,500 steps depending on your height.) Since this is the second time I’ve done this, I posed another challenge: get a family member or co-worker involved and see who can get the most steps. Health officials recommend people get in at least 10,000 steps a day, but with our sedentary lifestyles – not to mention the lousy weather we’ve been having – it’s not always easy.

“I am shocked at how sedentary my workweek can make me,” says Jason Steinbrinck of WFRV Channel 5, who walked more than 18 miles during the week. “I was even at a dance on Valentine’s Day that had me on my feet moving around a lot and I still just missed 10,000 steps for that day (9,877 steps). Clearly, I have some work to do since there shouldn't be any excuses stopping me from getting to that daily goal.”

Justin’s co-worker at WFRV, Lisa Malak, also thought her numbers would be higher. “This has been an eye-opening experience for both Rookie (my husband) and me! I thought we’d have way more steps than we already do,” she said. Her total for the week was 25,747 although she admitted she didn’t remember to put her pedometer on until Tuesday.

Bill Kumbalek of WBAY Channel 2 counted up more than 45,000 steps last week, adding in some skiing and snowshoeing to help boost his total. His wife, Lori, however, still had him beat by logging 78,753 steps. She owns Zen Salon in Appleton and is on her feet most of the day.

Chad Dorn of WLUK Channel 11 said the pedometer challenge makes him conscious of how much he walks vs. time spent in front of the computer. “The real benefit I suppose is that now I am extra conscious of the effort to make sure I walk because I am constantly checking the pedometer throughout the day,” he said, adding that he had 82,287 steps for the week.

Mary Kay Grasmick, vice president of communications for the Wisconsin Hospital Association, is pairing the pedometer challenge with trying to eat better. While she didn’t always reach 10,000 steps every day, Grasmick says “setting a goal has made me more aware of how important it is to get moving! I feel great the days that I get close to or go over 10,000 steps.”

One of the challenge participants, however, isn’t worried about getting in enough steps. Judy Steffes news director of WTCH in Shawano asked Mark Hauser to be her buddy for the pedometer challenge. Since he’s a mailman in New London, he gets in plenty of steps – a whopping 179,200 for the week. Hauser clearly wins this week’s gold medal.