BACKGROUND: Results from a statewide telephone survey of walking showed that the average adult in Colorado takes 6804 steps/d, and that steps/d were negatively associated with body mass index. No similar data exist for children. METHODS: As part of the Colorado survey, demographic information was obtained from parents for 116 children. A subsample of 59 children and adolescents (age 10 to 17 y) agreed to wear a step counter for four consecutive days. RESULTS: The youth reported taking an average of 7902 steps/d. There was a trend for children's steps/d to be positively associated with parents' steps/d and negatively associated with TV watching. CONCLUSION: This sample of children is not large enough to be considered a representative sample of Colorado youth, but this cross-sectional study provides some much needed information about steps/d in children and generates some interesting hypotheses about steps/d and other measures of health and overweight.