Sigh. It seems that the world's view of fat, lazy Americans is about to get yet another image-draining hit to the shapely round gut. According to a study led by Dr. David R. Bassett of the University of Tennessee that was published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Americans lag far behind other highly developed nations when it comes to walking.

Before we go on, here's the hard data: Australians average 9,695 steps a day; the Swiss take 9,650 and those living in Japan place one foot in front of the other 7,168 times per day. Americans? A lowly 5,117 steps. For what it's worth, one mile is roughly equivalent to 2,000 steps.

And now for the $64,000 question: Why are Americans lagging so far behind? Well, it seems that the experts believe it's at least partly because of America's car-centric culture and the lack of decent mass transit options. It's certainly true that in most locales, the vast majority of travelers and commuters choose to drive to their destinations instead of taking a bus, train or subway.

One thing is for sure – Americans had better start getting their walk on. A whopping (pun sadly intended) 34 percent of Americans are obese, compared to 16 percent of Australians, eight percent of Swiss and three percent of Japanese. Seems that we've got some serious weight to lose... time to lace up those walkin' shoes, folks.

[Source: Yahoo News]

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