Sir Walkalot

10K a day

Sir Walkalot – team mascot

The challenge is 10K a day — but for once it’s not words that are the target, but steps. I’m currently participating in the Global Corporate Challenge as part of a work initiative. It aims to get slothful desk workers out of their chairs and moving  towards improved health and productivity.

The challenge has been going for about a week and half now, and it’s been quite an eye-opener. I acknowledge my habits are largely sedentary, but in between sitting at a computer all day for both work and pleasure, I’ve always walked a fair bit. I considered 10,000 steps a day achievable enough, and thought to set an example for my team-mates.

Hmm. Turns out I completely overestimated my standard level of activity.

On a standard weekday at home and work without any conscious exercise, it seems I do about 2000 steps. That’s all. Throw in a half-hour walk in the morning before work, and that gets me another 4000 steps. I can squeeze out another 2000 steps at lunchtime… if I have time.

Bottom line: getting to 10,000 steps requires at least an hour’s dedicated walking (or some other form of equivalent exercise) every day.

Needless to say, I’ve been floundering. My average number of steps for the past nine days or so is about 8,500 — which is about 3,000 less than my team average. (The team — Sir Walkalot — I was going to lead to glory… we’re sitting in the middle of the pack.) I’m determined to get my average over 10,000 for the 16-week duration of this challenge — by which time regular exercise should be a habit, apparently.

I guess it’s a good thing I’ve bought myself a new crosstraining machine. I’d been pondering the merits of a treadmill for a while, but I don’t really have the space for one. My new elliptical crosstrainer is more compact, plus more portable, should I need to wheel it out of the way.

To my irritation, it arrived in time for the challenge to commence, but with a few parts missing so I’ve had to wait over a week to be able to use it. All week (as I gazed forlornly at my dismal scores plastered all over the whiteboard in my office) I’ve been telling myself next week will be better… next week, when my crosstrainer is in action… no excuse now!

Finally, the parts have arrived and it’s all put together. I lasted about 10 minutes, before my quads gave out. Those things are tough! I’ve never really used one before, so I daresay it will take a little while to build up. Meanwhile, I’d better keep scheduling in those extra walks!

Many readers of this post could be wondering by now how many steps you do in a day — I challenge you to wear a pedometer and find out. You might be surprised. How much do you think regular exercise impacts productivity?