The Divided States of Steps

There is power in knowing the previously unknowable. How many steps did you take yesterday? How does that number affect the way you feel? And for some of us, the most important question… how many steps equal a burrito? Until the large-scale adoption of wearable devices, like UP by Jawbone, acquiring data about daily activity levels has typically relied upon self-reported numbers via national surveys. But now, with new data from people across the United States, Jawbone is in a unique position to address the question by providing a realistic measurement of UP wearers’ daily habits. So what does that data say? Looking at the average number of daily steps taken in each state, we can see New York comes in strong, walking 7,958 steps per day… and about 5 miles more per week than the lowest-stepping state, Arkansas.

In fact looking at the dozen or so Southern states, the data shows a clear pattern of fewer steps taken than the rest of the US. There could be many reasons for this, though it is worth noting that the pattern in our map broadly matches the patterns which show up in both climate and obesity/diabetes data.

This data is just the beginning; in future posts we’ll dig deeper into the relationship between steps and sleep and other health metrics in the US, and across the world.

Average Steps By State (Interactive)

About The Author

Emi Nomura

Neuroscientist by training, data scientist in action! I'm a fitness fanatic who balances out long runs with equally long brunches. You can find Emi on Google+.