Average steps per day touring Washington D.C.

On our recent trip to Washington D.C, my wife convinced me to dust off my FitBit and wear it during our trip, just to see, out of curiosity, how much we’d walk touring our nation’s capital. Turns out we averaged 17,584 steps per day on our 7 day trip. This is pretty remarkable for us, since our desk jobs help place us somewhere around America’s average of 5,117 steps per day. In fact, we walked so much we gave the Amish, who average 16,311 steps per day, a run for their money.

I looked up a few other countries average steps per day just to see how we stacked up.

Bar chart of average steps per day per country.

The general goal of folks who wear pedometers is to walk 10,000 steps per day. That’s the magical number that’s suppose to keep you fit. We did great during our vacation hurrying from monument to monument and strolling through numerous museums. However, it’s quite a bit harder to hit that magical 10,000 mark during the average day in the life of an American. As the joke goes, “In America a pedestrian is someone who has just parked their car.”

Tabular data and sources:

Group Steps Source
U.S.A. 5,117 Pedometer-Measured Physical Activity and Health Behaviors in U.S. Adults
Swiss 9,650 “Physical activity assessment using a pedometer and its comparison with a questionnaire in a large population study”
Japan 7,168 “Physical activity among the Japanese: results of the National Health and Nutrition Survey”
Australia 9,695 “Physical Activity Levels of Western Australian Adults: Results from the Adult Physical Activity Survey and Pedometer Study”
Amish 16,311 Physical Activity in an Old Order Amish Community
Our Vacation 17,584 My FitBit