Should you walk 10,000 steps each day?
Saturday, 12 September · 2 min read

People often try to walk 10,000 steps a day in order to keep healthy and fit.

But where does this number come from, and is it the right goal for you?

The target appears to come from the name of an old Japanese step counting device called ‘Manpo-kei’ or ‘10,000 steps meter’. The goal caught the attention of public health researchers and the benefits of walking this many steps each day have since been researched in multiple studies.

Many studies found that walking 10,000 steps a day can promote heart health, weight loss and psychological wellbeing, as well as help to manage type 2 diabetes.

But 10,000 steps isn’t a practical goal for everyone and more recent research suggests smaller totals may still boost your health. For example, studies have shown health benefits from taking 8,000 steps per day and even 4,400 steps per day.

Some public health bodies, like the World Health Organization, recommend aiming for 150 minutes of moderate activity each week instead of a certain number of steps.

This means activities like brisk walking or cycling, that:

  • raise your heart rate
  • make you breathe faster
  • increase your body temperature

But if you still want to hit 10,000 steps a day, it might be best to increase your total gradually. Measure how many steps you take on a typical day, then increase the number by 1,000 every 2 weeks.

Quote of the day

Walking gets the feet moving, the blood moving, the mind moving. And movement is life.

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