An endangered species, caught on camera. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News)

The United States walks the least of any industrialized nation. Studies employing pedometers have found that where the average Australian takes 9,695 steps per day . . . the average Japanese 7,168, and the average Swiss 9,650, the average American manages only 5,117 steps.

Where a child in Britain, according to one study, takes 12,000 to 16,000 steps per day, a similar U.S. study found a range between 11,000 and 13,000.

This wouldn’t be worrisome if walking didn’t have all sorts of beneficial health effects — from lowering blood pressure to reducing obesity rates. So why don’t Americans walk more? You’ll have to read Vanderbilt’s piece, but in short: “As with many forms of physical activity, walking has been engineered out of existence.”