Raw Japan

Slices of Japanese business, politics and life

Skipping the taxi

February 12, 2010

Looking for extra motivation to walk away the pounds? Japan’s Happinet Toys is selling a pedometer that calculates how much money you save on taxi fares by walking as well as the calories you burn.

taxi walkerThe meter on the ”Taxi Walker” starts at 710 yen ($7.90) — the same as the initial fare for most Tokyo taxis and which covers the first 2 km  (1.2 miles). Once the user has walked more than 2 km, the pedometer tacks on 90 yen for each additional 280 meters.

Happinet says it’s recommended for anyone from thrifty housewives to businessmen who often take taxis — especially after going out for post-work drinks. You can read more about it here.

I gave the Taxi Walker a try and found that it adds a fun twist to what can be a mundane form of exercise.

The pedometer, which emits a beep every time the meter goes up, also drew inquisitive glances from some of my Reuters colleagues as I walked through the newsroom.

I’m surprisingly not as sedentary as I imagined — at least on weekdays. According to the Taxi Walker, I take nearly 10,000 steps a day, putting the meter in the low 2,000 yen range, thanks mostly to the 15-minute trek I make to and from the train station when commuting.

But weekends are a different story: I don’t even make it past the initial fare mark, with much of my time spent on the sofa in front of the TV or behind the wheel of the SUV chauffeuring the family around. Maybe it’s time to invest in some home exercise equipment?

Photo courtesy of Happinet

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