Twenty-Two: A Beautiful “Heartfelt” Number

Whew! Those 2760 EXTRA steps tuckered me out!

Dog Owners Walk the Walk — 22 Added Minutes and 2,760 Steps 

Twenty-two is a beautiful — literally “heartfelt “– number and not just because it alliterates. Twenty-two  represents the additional minutes dog-owning oldsters walked per day relative to their non-dog-owning peers according to an NPR-cited study published ten days ago in the journal BMC Public Health. Those twenty-two minutes translate to a whopping 2760 additional steps per day [10,030 for DOs versus 7269 NDOs]. Now THAT should paste a smile on any pedometer enthusiast’s face.  Even better, these steps registered at moderate intensity. Since virtually all medical experts recommend 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous physical activity, the dog-walkers in the study regularly reached the recommended goal.

Why is this news? Studies have pointed to a connection for some time. Human Kinetics Journal published a 20-year meta-analysis of 29 studies documenting a correlation between dog ownership and walking. However, these previous studies relied upon self-reported measurements of physical activity.  The carefully-controlled BMS study, by contrast, monitored its participants’ activity with highly accurate Active-PAL monitors for three one-week periods.

Does this mean ALL people should get dogs OR that ALL dog owners get the recommended minutes of physical activity at moderate to vigorous intensity? Nope! And nope! Dogs require a lot of work, $$, patience, training, and love. They demand sacrifices. While they’ll return an owner’s love ten-fold, sometimes ownership poses a hurdle too high.

On to that second “nope!” The study’s researchers cautioned that even their definitive correlation between dog owning and twenty-two additional minutes of walking comes with caveats.  It matters whether one actually walks the dog. It matters whether one is the sole caretaker. Even the breed and dog temperament may have an effect; tiny teacup poodles and curious dogs that stop  and sniff every two feet probably will not add 2,780 walked steps. These and other possible confounding variables need further evaluation according to the study’s authors.

Are dog-walking owners home free where their physical activity is concerned? Maybe not. The amount of time one sits plays a significant role in cardiac/vascular health. Dog-owners and non-dog-owners spent approximately the same amount of time sitting. In addition, the number and duration of prolonged sedentary events in both groups were approximately the same. Research shows that prolonged sitting has an adverse effect on health EVEN if one gets daily exercise.

As CEO of OneTweak, I chose a pedometer without a computer interface because plugging into the computer can easily trigger the urge to surf the web.  Pedometers should trigger the urge to walk, not add to folks’ sitting-down time.

Mayo-Clinic researcher, James Levin, a leading “inactivity” expert, has deems excessive sitting a “lethal activity” according to this eye-opening  New York Time’s article.  Meanwhile, the jury is still out on the perfect sit-stand-move combination for folks in a high-tech universe.

Alas, the jury is NOT out on whether I need to get up from my desk. I’ve been SITTING in front of my computer WRITING about WALKING for hours.  My back and blood vessels have been angrily yelling at me for too long. Even Bailey implores me.

Who is Baily, you may ask?

He’s the tri-color on cuteness overload.  To be fair, all of Saussie Aussies’ Australian Shepherds’ rock out cuteness but Bailey’s special….cuz he’s mine. So this DOG-OWNER needs to clip on her OneTweak pedometer; this DOG needs to tuck into his halter and leash. And together, WE need to get our walk-on!  Sooner rather than later.


For more information on getting and staying healthy, check Positive Health and Wellness, a “site is for those of us who look for the information they need to live a more positive, healthier and happier life.”  








Texas Tall Tales and Great Guffaws

backwardsmanJan’s intro

Dave pasted a grin on my face from day one. Let me count the why’s…He bought a

pedometer for his mom. Sons buying pedometers for their mothers always lights

my smile.  I don’t think it is hyperbole to say that a pedometer can be life changing

if it gets one to walk more. Ergo, buying one for his mom looked more like an act of

love than not. He bought two pedometers which always makes an entrepreneurial

ME happy. He waxed helpful and creative by offering his accounting services

should the need arise. Helpful is good. He watched our setup video; such diligence

always delights. Lastly, he took time out of his busy day to touch base with me.

Thoughtful customers like him remind ME to be a better customer…nay, a better

human. Oh…I almost forgot…Dave is funny. Really funny.


One day, Dave sent me a perplexing story. I feebly offer my passion for seller

ethics and customer satisfaction to explain what happened next.

Dave’s Story

Who knew how much fun a pedometer could be?!  Yesterday I was going to mow the

lawn and was happy that pushing a mower would add to my step count.  I’m hoping

this silliness of looking at the OT [OneTweak] every little while will wear off.  A

few times a day should suffice!


Let me begin by telling you that I live at the beach, XXXXXX Beach to be exact, so

I live in the sky so to speak.  That is that my home is on pilings 15’ high.  Beneath

my home is mostly concrete and then the grass grows around the perimeter.


With the mower fueled up, glasses on, ear plugs in, gloves on, check, check, check.

Last thing, look at the OT for the count.  Off to battling the high grass after the

recent rains I go.  All the while, I’m thinking of your online story — inspired me to

make my own story — and all those glorious steps the OT is counting.


After about 45 minutes of battling tall grass, side stepping toads, cactus (yes, we

have cactus at the beach), the occasional palm frond, weed-eating and blowing off

the concrete my job was complete.  So I grabbed a cold water and the nearest

bench to survey the masterpiece that is a freshly manicured yard AND to take a

gander at the trusty OT strapped to my side.  Ahh, the satisfaction… until, 357



Now, this yard is by no means Texas-size, a mere ¼ acre abutting a canal off the

Intracoastal Waterway and a scant 800 yards from the beautiful Gulf of Texas

(the maps incorrectly refer to it as Mexico’s Gulf), but 357 steps?!  After nearly

an hour of activity that only Richard Simmons would frown upon?  What gives OT,



But wait, could this apparatus that has appeared to perform flawlessly these whole

four days I’ve owned it gone plumb loco in just an hour.  It was working fine before

my landscaping handiwork.  Take another sip of water I tell myself and think this



Now, as I mentioned, the yard isn’t a boring rectangle of green nothingness.  There

are many little things to mow around, the fire pit, the pit smoker, a couple of palm

trees, the birdbath, etc.  So there are very few long runs when cutting this yard.

There are many back and forths, forths and backs.  Could what I suspected a

malfunction only be the ultimate in accuracy?!  Stand up I did next, straightened,

and took 10 paces backwards.  Well done OT, Accuracy be thy name, the new count

347 steps.


Did you know that walking backwards removes steps from the OT pedometer?  I

wish that worked for a few cars I’ve sold in my lifetime!  So then, flummoxed as I

was initially, how could I be upset at such a precision instrument?  I’ll now be

attempting to set the record for the most negative steps ever recorded on the OT

pedometer.  Look for me in the next Guinness book of records!


Now before you think me whacky (although my friends definitely think so too),

consider that mowing the lawn, while taking some physical exertion, doesn’t always

require much from the ol’ gray matter between the ears and allows for a

considerable amount of thinking.  While I really was thinking of the steps my OT

was counting, I did hatch this Tall Texas Tale whilst pushing said mower around the

yard.  Then this morning while waiting my turn in the barber’s chair was able to

quickly crank this out.


I hope it pastes another smile on your face.  I enjoyed thinking it up.  🙂  Have a

great day.


Jan’s Response

Humor jumped all over Dave’s Mark Twainian tale. After my great guffaws

subsided, though, I felt bewildered. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the

nonsensical step-count dilemma he presented. Here’s where I got ‘stupid.’

Somehow, I had missed the “Tall” in “Texas Tall Tale.” I actually walked backward

with ten pedometers; all ADDED steps. Then I thought, perhaps the low step count

happened because each time he stopped, he lost steps UNLESS he walked a ninth.

When I cut my grass — as seldom as possible, mind you — I  stop and start a lot to

accommodate turns and mowing around obstacles. I only walk continuously on longer

straight stretches. Maybe this explained part of the conundrum.

My ‘stupid’ only grew.


I relayed the above to Dave and told him to do the watch ‘n walk test to check the

accuracy. I told him to walk forward this time — it should not make a difference in

the count — because walking backward is more perilous. I closed with this, “Color

me delighted that my story inspired your story.”


Dave’s Response

Uh-oh!  My Tall Texas Tale was purely a tale spun for my mischievous pleasure.

My OT works perfectly.  I think I got about 1,800 steps doing my yard.

I promise not to bug you further, except when I order another unit for my Sis.

All the best and much success to you and your team.

… Dave

Jan’s Ending

Eventually, my red cheeks subsided and my gratitude grew. And grew. I had

received his tale right after I heard about the Dallas massacre. Cue me wallowing

in dejected muck. Too much awfulness. The next day, I received Dave’s “Uh-oh.”

The truth of the tale – that is, the lie of it [as in “tall tale”] – made me laugh

uproariously. Laughing at myself felt wonderful. Dave had given me a delicious

guffaw-making story that I can pull out and dust off for the rest of my life. I can

give his gift to others. I’m still smiling.

I told Dave he had a way with words – weird because he makes his living with

numbers – and asked whether I could share. Dave said it was the least he could do

for pulling my chain. Actually, he didn’t say that – I embellished – but he happily

agreed. And now you know the rest of the story.

Can You Lose Weight By Walking?

chubby-guy-jogsWalking benefits us in so many diverse ways that weight loss often gets lost in the mix. Yet, weight loss matters. To some, it’s the prime motivation to walk — at least, in the beginning. So, CAN you lose weight by walking? Is it an effective method? Helen Sanders, chief editor at Health Ambition, has the answers in this informative well-written article. She also explains the fundamentals of walking for weight loss and how to best implement a walking program. “Humans were made to move,” she notes, “although it’s easy to forget that as we’ve progressed from hunter-gatherers to working desk jobs and commuting by car from door to door.” Walking works wonderfully BECAUSE it is so basic and organic; its benefits intertwine in a wondrous synergy. One walks to feel better. One feels better so one walks. OneTweak CEO, Jan Brauner, goes one step further: “I don’t think it is hyperbole to say that a pedometer can be life-changing IF it gets one to walk more.” Helen Sanders would no doubt agree. Read more.

Stuck in Traffic? These Pedometer Apps Think You’re Walking

traffic jam

Your smart phone may not be as smart as you think it is. And YOU may not be getting the exercise you think you are.

Guy Faulkner of the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education and KPE master’s student Krystn Orr, evaluated three popular fitness apps-Accupedo, Moves and Runtastic- for smartphones. The apps consistently counted steps less accurately than traditional wearable pedometers. Worse, the apps treated slow car motion as walking, adding steps to seated drivers’ step count.

For those often stuck in traffic jams, this glitch might seem like a feel-good bonus.  However, for those who have fitness goals and need accuracy to achieve them, this glitch is an impediment.

According to Orr, a traditional pedometer is “probably the most reliable and cost-effective tool for tracking your steps.”

In the case of walking, then, a traditional pedometer is smarter than a smartphone…and a sensible choice for smart walkers. Indeed!Continue reading

Why These 9 Famous Thinkers Walked So Much

3guysAristotle. William Wordsworth. Charles Dickens. Henry Thoreau. John Muir. Nassem Taleb. Patrick Leigh Fermor. Soren Kierkegaard. Ludwig Van Beethoven. Nine men passionate about walking. Why would some of the greatest minds in history take time from their extraordinary pursuits to meander? For one contemporary writer, Taleb, humans, much like businesses and economies, need to face “intermittent stressors, randomness, and variation” to remain “healthy, robust, and anti-fragile.” Beethoven needed walks to infuse creativity. Dickens walked, often for over twenty miles, for psychological survival.  Their reasons and processes are as fascinating as they are varied.

Read more here.