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Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Date:3/17/2009

Study computes a pace brisk enough to meet activity guidelines,,

TUESDAY, March 17 (HealthDay News) -- National guidelines urge all Americans to engage in "moderate physical activity" at least 2.5 hours a week, but what does that mean if you're out for a stroll?

A new study provides the answer: It's equivalent to a brisk walk, or about 1,000 steps every 10 minutes.

"Now we know what moderate is," said the study's lead author, Simon J. Marshall, an assistant professor of exercise and nutritional sciences at San Diego State University. He suggests that people use pedometers to figure out if they're exercising at a high enough intensity.

The U.S. formerly recommended that people get 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five days a week. But last fall, Marshall said, officials changed the guidelines to simply say that people should exercise 150 minutes a week.

"They dropped the per-day recommendation because there wasn't a compelling argument that people who exercised four days a week were any worse off than those who exercised five days a week," Marshall said.

For walkers, however, it was not quite clear what "moderate" activity meant, although some exercise specialists suggest that people walk 10,000 steps a day.

"Most people are familiar with the recommendation to get 30 minutes of exercise most days," said Dr. David Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine. "Fewer people know that needs to be moderate intensity, and fewer still know what that means."

In the new study, researchers enlisted 58 women and 39 men, with an average age of 32, to walk on treadmills while a machine measured their energy expenditure. The idea was to determine what level of activity was in the moderate range.

The findings of the study, which was funded by the federal government, appear in the May issue of the American Journal of Preven
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