10,000 steps to the Health Fair

By Sarah Pridgeon

How many steps do you walk in a single day? While that may be a difficult question to answer from the top of your head, Crook County Health Fair will be encouraging all of us to step it up this year and aim for a 10,000-step workout each day.

As part of the Health Fair’s activities this year, says Lilly Bankenbush, Lab Director, the kids of the community will have their attention drawn to an image of a tennis shoe. The younger children will be invited to color a picture, while the older kids can draw something related to walking.

The pictures will be distributed the week before the health fair along with teaching tools about the concept of walking 10,000 steps. Every kid who brings their picture to the Health Fair on April 27 will be able to choose from a selection of prizes, ranging from a pedometer or tennis shoe key chain to a water bottle or granola bar snack.

“You can choose your prize – until they’re gone,” says Bankenbush. “So it’ll be a good idea to get your picture in early!”

The idea of walking 10,000 steps every day has been around for a while – one of the first modern pedometers, back in 1965, was sold in Japan as a “manpo-kei,” which literally translates to “10,000 steps meter.” It’s the activity level recommended by the U.S. Surgeon General to reduce your risk of chronic disease and early death.

Assuming that you take 6000 steps during the course of a regular day, the recommendation to reach the full 10,000 is to add around 30 minutes of brisk exercise to your routine as this roughly translates to another 4000 steps. It’s not an exact number, because no two people’s daily activities will precisely match and your health and age will affect your ability to achieve it, but it’s certainly an easy-to-remember guideline.

The 10,000 step program is recommended by many health advocates and some of the suggestions made to help you reach your daily goal include to take a walk with your dog or a friend; use the stairs instead of the elevator; window shop at the weekend and park as far as possible from the stores; or spend some time wandering in the garden as you do a little weeding.

Sundance Elementary, Sundance High School and Bearlodge High School have already pledged involvement with the Health Fair’s push for awareness of the 10,000 step program, with Hulett and Moorcroft also expected to sign up.

One opportunity still remains to attend a blood draw prior to the fair: Sundance Clinic will be hosting a final drawing between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. on April 20. Tennis shoe pictures should be brought to the Crook County Health Fair on April 27 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Sundance High School.