We Tracked our Pioneers’ Daily Steps for One Year: Here’s What We Learned

Since the launch of the Arivale program—just over one year ago—our Pioneers have made tremendous strides in optimizing their wellness through making important lifestyle changes based on their data.

When someone joins the Arivale Program, in addition to the genetics, blood, saliva, and microbiome tests conducted by our partner laboratories, we send each Pioneer an activity tracker so he or she can gain important sleep, heart rate, and lifestyle insights. (Currently, we equip Pioneers with Fitbit Charge HRs.)

After a year of tracking Pioneers, we’re excited to share what we’ve learned so far.

But before we dive into our learnings, let’s look at the wins. Since this time last summer, our initial group of Pioneers has walked a total of 1,352,417,790 steps, adding up to approximately 420,000 miles walked. To put it in perspective, together, you’ve almost walked to the moon and back.

Now, what did we learn?

Data Can Help Make the Final Push


10,000 daily steps is the default goal on a Fitbit, though it can be increased or decreased by an individual. The American Heart Association uses 10,000 steps as a guideline to follow for improving health and decreasing the risk of heart disease, the number one killer of men and women in America.

When looking at the daily steps of our Pioneers, we observed an interesting trend: there is a big spike right after 10,000 steps (see blue line on figure). While data can’t reveal why this is happening, our Coaches tell us that often Pioneers say that if they are close to reaching 10,000 steps at the end of the day, they make an extra effort to get across the finish line. The trend we’re seeing in the figure is consistent with the suggestion that Pioneers may be putting in an extra bit of effort at the end of the day to reach their goal.

What we know from behavioral science is that goal setting is important, and having a clear measure of success and data to show your progress can help motivate you to reach that goal day in and day out.

Baby Steps Add Up … And Our Pioneers Are Adding, Not Subtracting


For each additional day in the Arivale program, Pioneers take 4.4 more steps on average (95% Confidence interval:  3.0 – 5.8 steps; p-value = 1.4e-9). That means that each month, Pioneers take an average of 132 more steps per day than they did the previous month (95% Confidence Interval:  89 – 175 steps;  p-value = 1.4e-9). On the surface, it might appear to be a small gain—but over the course of a year, that small daily increase could lead to well over 1,000 more steps walked daily.

From this chart, you can see that one month into the Arivale program, the average Pioneer reaches about 9,400 steps per day. At eight months in Arivale, the average step count has increased to about 10,100 steps per day.

Congratulations to all our Pioneers on making a commitment to optimizing their wellness—and pushing forward. As we continue to collect data, we’re excited to discover even more trends over time and share them with you.

To your health!

Team Arivale

Comments 5

  1. I think there’s a lot more you all could share about average steps by age, gender and perhaps other attributes that would help people gage where they are versus a relevant comparison group.

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      Great feedback, Rogers. As we collect more data, we’ll continue to share insights including those about age and gender. One thing that you might find interesting is that, on average, male Arivale Pioneers take 616 more steps per day than female Arivale Pioneers (95% Confidence Interval: 137-1095; p-value = 0.01).

  2. I agree with Rogers, there could be a lot more analysis. I’d also like to see the Arivale community data compared to the relevant non-Arivale fitbit user base(s), to see if Fitbit + Arivale makes a difference.

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  3. The average american only walks about 2500 steps a day so your population is already walking almost 4x as much as typical and walking more helps but is there any evidence that 10,000 steps has a direct impact on health outcomes and is an increase from 9,000 to 10,000 has any statical impact on health?

Want to weigh in? Tell us what you think.