A recent study published in the Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy states that pushing a single or double stroller at 3.0 mph resulted in a mean absolute intensity of 4.8 METs (single stroller) and 5.3METs (double stroller), meeting the requirement for moderate activity. Even better, when walking 4.0 MPH, the mean absolute intensity was 7.0 METs, which counts as vigorous intensity exercise. MET stands for the metabolic equivalent of task, which is is a physiological measure expressing the energy cost of a physical activity. This study used a relatively flat outdoor walking environment and weighted strollers to simulate pushing 1 or 2 small children plus supplies (don’t leave home without that diaper bag—its bad luck). The American College of Sports Medicine recommends performing moderate intensity physical activity (3.0-5.9 METs) for 30 minutes 5 days per week or vigorous intensity (>6 METs) for a minimum of 20 minutes 3 days a week.
How can you determine how fast you are walking? Use an online mapping tool like MapMyWalk that you can synch with your iPhone or fitbit that you can wear around your wrist while you walk. Get moving!