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Stanford researchers find intriguing clues about obesity by counting steps via smartphones

photo of feet walking across a street
Giuseppe Milo / Creative Commons
Jul 10 2017
Fellow, Research, Stanford

A global study based on daily steps counted by smartphones discovers “activity inequality.” It’s similar to income inequality, except that the “step-poor” are prone to obesity while the “step-rich” tend toward fitness and health.

Stanford researchers using smartphones to track the activity levels of hundreds of thousands of people around the globe made an intriguing discovery: In countries with little obesity, people mostly walked a similar amount per day. But big gaps between people who walked a lot and those who walked very little coincided with much higher levels of obesity.

First author Tim Althoff is a 2015 SAP SGF.