UK health guidelines suggest that adults should aim to take 10,000 "steps" per day, and that less than 5,000 should be considered a sedentary lifestyle.
I walk and cycle rather than take the car for most journeys and assumed I'd make this target easily. Some months ago I got some pedometer software included in a new smartphone and was shocked to discover I only averaged about 7,000.
Since then I've been making up the shortfall by running on the spot when I have nothing else productive to do - waiting for the kettle to boil, or cleaning my teeth for instance. I feel better for it too: I've lost weight, and my aerobic capacity has improved.
However, a friend who is a bit of a fitness fanatic recently told me this was "cheating" and "didn't count". She was unable to elucidate as to why when challenged.
This seems patently absurd: while running on the spot lacks the accelerative component of actual running and is obviously less exercise, you're still lifting the legs and working the aerobic system to some extent.
So: am I right in thinking running on the spot is valuable exercise? Is it more or less of a workout than an equivalent amount of rapid walking? And, if these things are true, where might someone get the idea that it's "cheating"?