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I’m almost positive I was still living in the US when the Fitbit craze hit. I never got one myself, though I’ve certainly had experience with heart rate monitors and step counters before. I remember everyone watching their steps. We just recently watched an episode of Modern Family where Gloria is jumping around the kitchen trying to get up her step-count for the day. Is the trend still going in the US? I honestly have no idea, let me know if it is. What I do remember from it, is the articles that popped up on how many steps per day was ideal, the statistics on how much physical activity, etc.

The research is still all out there, and even if the ideal goal of 10,000 steps came from an ad campaign, the average steps per day can now be seen by country, and probably more defined if I looked hard enough but I just don’t feel like doing that right now so we’re going with by country:In a study from Statista: Average number of steps people in select countries worldwide took per day as of 2017, Hong Kong ranked at the top with an average of 6,880. Italy was only 5,296. The US? 4,774.

I am so interested in this data because tonight, Rami shuffled around the kitchen a few times and announced that he’d hit 10,000 steps as he watched his Fitbit. This is apparently the normal average for us per day when we’re not working. If Rami is working, he probably clocks more.

I’m not saying we’re average. We walk a lot. That’s one thing that Rami and I have in common that I believe is essential to living here: our feet don’t hurt, and walking out a few hours around the center and back home is a stroll for us. If we couldn’t do that, we honestly wouldn’t have the same experience in Florence.

So many ask how we eat pasta every day and still stay thin. This mayy be one of the largest reasons.  A plate of pasta (90-100grams, not close to what Olive Garden serves) a day (maybe even two) apparently doesn’t do much when doubling the average step counts of the world. The only country that passed us was Switzerland, and they’re just outdoor superhumans, so I’ll take it. With their food, they’re probably burning even more calories than us and still are doing just fine.

Of course, there are other factors about our food and why I’m not the weight I was after I finished studying abroad in Ascoli. Those fried olives were the death of me, and I used to eat whole mozzarellas for a snack. (WE ALSO DON’T REALLY SNACK NOW – this is a key factor) But the active lifestyle that we have is even double the average Italian.

I’d advise anyone visiting Florence with a Fitbit to try and reach 10,000 steps a day. Work up to it, train for it, whatever you need to do. With 10,000 steps a day, all of the secrets of Florence can be discovered – the thousands of steps up towers or vistas for panoramic views, the museums, and gardens on the outskirts. Even if you just spend that many footsteps walking through the center, you’ll discover a different city. Plus, you get to eat more pasta, and that is never a bad thing.




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