Babies Learning To Walk Cover A Staggering Two And A Half Miles A Day!

23/11/2012 12:49 | Updated 22 May 2015
Babies learning to walk cover a staggering two and a half miles a day!Rex Features

Researchers have found that the average toddler walks more than two and a half miles a day, taking in a staggering (toddling?) 14,208 steps.

But boffins at New York University also found that the not-so-steady-on-their-feet little ones had a bottom-lip-quivering 102 falls a day too!

The researchers filmed more than 130 toddlers aged between 12 and 19 months in a specially designed playroom, while 15 others were videoed at home.

Some of the children had not yet started to walk, while others were cruising, or had just taken their first tentative steps, and some were already accomplished strollers.

Subsequent frame-by-frame analysis of the films found that those who were already walking where taking an amazing 2,368 steps an hour and covering 0.44 miles!

The new walkers in the study took the most tumbles - with one little toddler managing to hit the deck 69 times in an hour - but on average, the walkers took 17 tumbles an hour.

The researchers then calculated that if the average toddler is active half of their waking time, they will clock up 2.6 miles a day.

Writing in the journal Psychological Science, Professor Karen Adolph, a psychologist specialising in infant learning, discussed how toddlers gain walking prowess.

"Over days of walking, they take more steps, travel further distances and fall less," she wrote. "And they may be motivated to walk in the first place because walking takes them further faster than crawling."

She also said that while the number of steps taken looks like a lot, estimates for other new skills are 'equally enormous'.

"Middle-class infants hear 2,150 words per hour, more than 30 million words by three years," she explained. "By two months of age, infants have executed more than 2.5million eye movements and by three and a half months, they have performed 3 to 6million.

"The consensus in the literature on expertise is that large amounts of regular practice, accumulated over years of training, promote expert performance. The same principle could apply to acquiring expertise in walking."

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