The surgeon general recommends that people walk 10,000 steps per day in order to stay healthy. This Livestrong article states that:
People who take fewer than 5,000 steps are considered to be sedentary or inactive. Those who take 5,000 to 7,499 steps daily have a low active lifestyle. Somewhat active people usually take 7,500 to 9,999 steps per day. People considered to be active take 10,000 or more steps per day.I consider myself an active person, but on days I don't run, I might only walk 4,000 steps at most. If I take the dog for a walk, we're still only looking at 7-8 K. I honestly thought that I would be taking more steps than that! The eye-opening point - and i'm sure why corporations are supporting the program - is that walking the recommended amount of steps per day is difficult to do.
Now combine a running plan into it and things get much easier. It's hard to say how accurate the relatively inexpensive GCC pedometers are, but I've found that a good 4-5 mile run would be around 8,000 steps. On days with longer runs, I find myself racking up a good 30K steps by the time I ease into bed. Unfortunately, the GCC coinsided with my break from running while I healed up my knee from the Burlington Marathon, but once I started running regularly again I've been able to up my daily step average to just under 11,000 a day.
Does walking count as cross-training for running? I'm not sure that it would for a serious runner, but I've found it to be both helpful and relaxing. In addition, during my layoff I found walking to be low-impact enough to stay healthy but active and close enough to running that it helped me figure out how my knee was doing. I plan on continuing to walk as much as I can during the day, but also as and end in and of itself on days when i'm not running.