As chiropractors, we see many people have health issues because of inactivity and poor posture. Walking can truly be a step in the right direction.
A recent study by a Southern California university professor shows that the more a person walks each day, the more energetic he will feel and the better his mood.
“People seem to be interested in walking as a health benefit, but here, we’re seeing it’s not just cardiovascular health and other kinds of physical health that are important, but psychological health as well,” says Robert Thayer, professor of psychology at California State University, Long Beach. “The more a person walks has a very real and immediate psychological effect that an individual can experience every day.”
Thayer and a small group of student researchers assessed 37 individuals (12 males and 25 females) over 20 days, during which each participant wore a pedometer from the waist from the time of being dressed in the morning until just before bed.
At the end of each day, participants completed several rating scales based on how they felt as they went through the entire day, including self-ratings of self-esteem, happiness, overall mood and depression, as well as energy and even tension. After making the self-ratings, the participants noted the number of steps taken that day according to their pedometers.
“We found that there was a clear and strong relationship between the number of steps they took and their overall mood and energy level,” said Thayer, author of Calm Energy: How People Regulate Mood with Food and Exercise.
“It really indicates that we’re talking about a wider phenomenon here than just ‘walk more, feel more energy.’ We’re talking about ‘walk more, be happier, have higher self-esteem, be more into your diet and the nutritiousness of your diet.’ ”
This is another reason why we urge our customers and patients to do a little bit of walking each day.