Professional scientists submerge themselves in the obscure. For example, some scientists study the intricacies of cancer, while other scientists study… fitbits?

Sort of. Apparently, professional scientists are attempting to tangibly identify which country on planet Earth houses the laziest lot. Who is the lazy nation? Whom among us is the most collectively unindustrious?

Well, a research team from Stanford University monitored the daily activity level of some 700,000 people worldwide via the “smartphone Argus activity monitoring app”. Apparently this is the largest ever “human movement” research project ever conducted. The Washington Post reported that accumulatively, researchers had a pool of 68 million days of data to work with.

We’ve qualms though. Mainly, what do footsteps have to do with anything? Right? Yeah, take that science.

Some of the research team’s findings were as follows:

Hong Kong     avg. steps: 6,800 (top of the charts)

Indonesia       avg. steps: 3,500 (bottom of the barrel)

China              avg. steps: 6,100

Japan              avg. steps: 6,000

Spain              avg. steps: 5,900

U.K.                 avg. steps: 5,400

U.S.A.               avg. steps: 4,700 . . . below the worldwide average

We’ve more qualms though. Let’s take somewhere like Hong Kong. Maybe Hong Kong is a pedestrian city! Maybe Hong Kong naturally encourages its masses to hoof-it to and fro. Adversely, the U.S. is a commuter’s country. We drive everywhere. We’ll drive to the neighbor’s house if we can.

We’d like to see this data aligned with number of “pedestrian commuters” versus automobile commuters for each segment. Maybe the data is representing the goings-on of folks who just don’t drive cars. Maybe if everyone in the U.S. didn’t drive cars, we’d be contending for step count glory.

Fascinating fact? The “average number of steps” findings were not tied to obesity levels. No correlation. Meaning, there are still fat people in China and Japan, and there are still skinny people in the U.S., and all the health monitors in the world won’t tempt us to get out of our cars!