My daughter was recently given a pedometer as a gift. After learning what it was for she was very excited to try it out. The first day she put in almost 5000 steps! Not bad for a 5 year old...or so I thought! ( personally, I think it's GREAT!) I looked up a few sites on the Internet about kids and pedometers.
*Studies showed that for 6–12 year olds, girls needed 12,000 steps/day and boys needed 15,000 steps/day to stay in a healthy Body Mass Index - BMI. The study reviewed research of almost 2000 children in the USA, Australia, and Sweden. The study was published in the June, 2004 "Preventative Medicine" by Catrine Tudor-Locke Ph.D. and associates.* click here for full article.
I know Amara is 5 so the study does not necessarily included her, but still! It took her quite a few trips up and down the steps with 10 jumping jacks thrown in each time to get over 5,000 steps! This was with her being active in the morning, at school playing inside and out and also being active at home. Whew!
A study put out by the same Catrine mentioned above came out with this pedometer walking guide:
Classification of pedometer-determined physical activity in healthy adults:
1) Under 5000 steps/day may be used as a "sedentary lifestyle index"
2) 5,000-7,499 steps/day is typical of daily activity excluding sports/exercise and might be considered "low active."
3) 7,500-9,999 likely includes some exercise or walking (and/or a job that requires more walking) and might be considered "somewhat active."
4) 10,000 steps/day indicates the point that should be used to classify individuals as "active".
5) Individuals who take more than 12,500 steps/day are likely to be classified as "highly active".
I think that giving a pedometer to a little person is a great idea. They can see the numbers immediately ( although you might get a little annoyed when your child asks you every 3 minutes how many steps now!?!? ). Giving them goals to reach is a fun way get their bodies moving. Amara really liked it when I suggested doing jumping jacks when she reached the top of the stairs. She decided to do them when she reached the bottom as well. I caught her doing them the next day as well without my suggestion. Her new goal is 6000 steps! I have no doubt she will make it either.