Saturday, July 25, 2009
1 Day, 14,044 Toddling Steps
I was lingering in bed one Saturday morning, listening to Ronan and Mom play in an adjacent room. First I noticed the giggles and sing-song talking (grunting from Ronan), then the occasional "thump" or "crash" of Ronan doing something damaging to himself/something else/both. But what seemed to stand out after listening for five minutes was the incessant "pat-pat-pat, pat-pat-pat" cadence of Ronan's little footsteps.
I listened a while longer and was amazed that his walk-run-walk gait never let up. Ronan's perpetual motion reminded me of a fish or shark that needed to continuously swim to get a steady supply of oxygen over it's gills. Ronan's little feet seem to never stop moving.
So we decided to measure exactly that. How many steps, really, does Ronan take during a day? $10 got us a pair of pedometers, one for Ronan (subject) and one for me (control). The next Saturday Ronan and I wore the pedometers whenever we were moving (not for naps, bath, changing, etc) and the results were interesting.
Ronan: 14,044, Dad: 5,631. He almost tripled my step count, and this with his day (time not sleeping) being 10 hours compared with my 17. And my 5,631 also included a 30 min jog during Ronan's nap. Of his 10 hours awake, at last 2 of them are spent confined in a highchair (attempts at feeding) or in a carseat (or bike trailer). There is also an hours worth of reading/down time where Ronan is sitting. So really, there are 7 hours of mobility in his day, meaning he averages 2,000 steps per hour. Put another way, when free to do what he pleases, every other second Ronan decides to take a step. If I tried to keep that rate myself, I too would need a daily 14 hours of sleep.