Department of sport and physical rehabilitation sciences lecturer and study supervisor Dr Andrew McKune said that the group of 40 students stumbled upon this finding when they were studying the relationship between exercise (or the lack of it) and obesity.
The number of steps that each student took was recorded on a pedometer they wore on the hip. The students found that women walked most when they were shopping. McKune said 10 000 paces represented about half an hour's walking.
Students were able to walk between 15 000 paces and 20 000 paces when they went shopping. "Unfortunately, the study also showed that the majority of the women walked fewer than 500 paces a day. They actually only got up to fetch food," he said. "A questionnaire often distorts the real picture. People sometimes overestimate how much they do daily."