How Much Does Boston Move on Sept. 1?

Move in day 2013 for college students in the Allston neighborhoods on Ashford Street.
Allston--09/01/13 Move in day for college students in the Allston neighborhoods. Students are helped on Ashford Sttreet. Boston Globe staff Photo by John Tlumacki –The Boston Globe/ John Tlumacki

There are many reasons Sept. 1 is awful in Boston. It’s usually hot (this weekend it will be in the mid-80s), you’re usually moving, and even if you aren’t signing a new lease, you’re probably helping others move.

I’ve moved myself or someone else every September 1st in Boston since I graduated from college here. But with all the downsides and stress to moving, I’m going to go out on a limb and find a positive: Have you thought about how many calories you’re burning? September 1st might be one of the most active days in Boston. Even the laziest people have to get off the couch because, well, the couch is moving.


Jawbone, the fitness wearable tracker, has compiled data on steps taken and hours of sleep from not only tens of thousands of Boston users, but also for users in major cities throughout the United States, Canada, and the rest of the world. We took at look at their new interactive data presentation to figure out how much we were moving on September 1st last year.

Jawbone interactive compares cities. —Jawbone

When did everyone go to bed in Boston the night before Moving Day?

September 1st was a Sunday last year. The night before, at 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31, 52 percent of Bostonians were asleep. The other half? Probably still packing. They were taking 334 steps on average. We all (90 percent of Boston-based Jawbone users) finally went to bed by 3 a.m.

When did everyone wake up on Moving Day?

By 8:30 a.m., only 37 percent of Bostonians were still asleep.

By 9:00 a.m., only 25 percent of people were asleep, and the rest were already moving an average of 428 steps.

When was everyone really moving?

The peak of Boston movement on Sept. 1 was from 4 to 5 p.m., when Jawbone users were taking 999 steps on average.

When did we all go to sleep?

By 11:45 p.m., 47 percent of Boston Jawbone users had crashed into bed.


How many calories did we burn?

This is the typical calorie per step conversion. Take all of the steps you took and convert them to miles. If you weigh 175 lbs. the calculation would be: Calories burned per mile = 0.57 x 175 lbs. = 99.75 calories per mile.

We added up the steps for each hour and found the average Bostonian took 11,498 steps that day. That’s more than 5 miles! Approximately 500 calories.

How much will you move on September 1st this year? Tweet your fitness tracking stats @BeWellBoston.

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