Once again the US makes a poor showing with a large "inequality" gap. But how the article makes the leap from "not walking enough is making us fat" is questionable, for one can eat little and not walk much and not become fat.
Ever since I moved to the USA I have missed walking everywhere. It realy does help to keep weight under control when part of daily life. A lot of Americans are already sat in front of screens all day.
I would guess it is more correlation than causation.
There are also reasons why walking it not as popular in the US as in some other countries and a fairly major one is that the country did not develop around the concept of getting around on foot.
Walking is pretty ineffective for weight control--it can take a fit walker 12 hours or so to lose one pound. Counting calories is a much more efficient process if one is actually trying to manage weight.
I agree that just "normal" walking does not burn all that many calories, though it benefits in other ways. But serious walking at a brisk pace will keep one lean and in shape. Women's 5000m Walk Final - Athletics - Singapore 2010 Youth Games - YouTube
I would suggest that walking might limit how hungry ones feels all day. Sitting in front of a computer screen makes me hungry all the time. Maybe someone should do a study.
Here is what the experts say:
Walking backwards seems almost as good and certainly easier than speedwalking. Perhaps there is an unexploited entrepreneurial opportunity here to develop wearable mirrors that make that activity as safe as walking forwards.
New Yorkers, generally considered fast walkers, do not come near the top of the world charts.
More of Professor Wiseman's research can be found here.
If you walk and use your phone at the same time, it may be worth checking out this important research study.
American runners are slowing down.
Or, how about wearable rear-view cameras that you could view via app on your smartphone? We could call them ProGo. Of course, whoever decided to produce these would need upstart capital prior to their OPI on the ESYN.
I can see it all now. Sales would no doubt take off quickly... there would be no looking back. Not only would all the early adopters love it, so would all the ER doctors whose business would increase due to distracted pedestrians.
If anybody's interested in pursuing this, count me in! I'll contribute to that upstart fund right after I'm done with my walk but before I come to my senses.
These people might be interested: Reverse Times Square - YouTube