The physical therapy department is hosting a research study to prove that taking 10,000 steps each day can lead to better health.
Diane Madras, Associate Profes- sor of Psychical Therapy, is testing the claim made by The American Heart Association.
“I am a curious person,” she said. “Everyone equates how you look with how healthy you are, and they could not be more different.”
Madras is including students, faculty and staff in her study.
“We are going to give them two goals, either 5,000 steps a day or 10,000 steps a day, and then we will tract their steps for about two months,” Madras said. “And then we will see what happens, see if these goals matter.”
Tamara Stubits, a junior elementary education major, said she wanted to try walking when she saw an e-MU message announcing the study.
“When I saw that you could get a $15 bookstore gift card I thought, why not? It would be good for Christmas presents,” she said, “and all I really had to do was walk.”
Stubits chose to do 10,000 steps to push herself because she is an avid runner.
“It made me realize that on the days I don’t exercise, I am really not getting the exercise I need, and all I have to do it take a few extra steps.”
While this is a PT-driven research study, PT majors and student athletes cannot participate. Madras said it’s a conflict of interest for the majors, and student athletes are excluded because their fitness will negatively impact study results.
“We think that being in an organized sport, they have imposed activity on them and that’s not fair” said Madras.
Jessica Reuther is a Cougar cheerleader, and she wishes that she could participate.
“I was bummed when I found out that I could not participate in the study. Who wouldn’t want to get paid for walking?” she said. “I understand why student athletes can not participate, but I wish we could to maybe prove we do not reach all the steps.”
She plans to sign up for the study if she is eligible during her off-season.
Madras encourages all members of the campus community to join because the study provides health benefits to participants.
“It benefits students who are the subjects because they will then learn that physical activity maybe doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t have to hurt,” she said. “It’s something you can build into your life, and you will be healthier as a result.”
Participants must sign a consent form and be willing to wear a pedometer for 10 weeks. Students should contact Diane Madras at [email protected]