Daily 10,000 Steps

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Our health providers, many doctors and wellness officials recommend to walk at least 10,000 steps daily. In a recent article, Gretchen Reynolds of The New York Times Well column writes that the 10K daily steps is ‘not rooted in science‘ but based on marketing.

Citing Dr. I-Min Lee, a professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and an expert on step counts and health, Gretchen writes “the 10,000-steps target became popular in Japan in the 1960s. A clock maker, hoping to capitalize on interest in fitness after the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, mass-produced a pedometer with a name that, when written in Japanese characters, resembled a walking man. It also translated as “10,000-steps meter,” creating a walking aim that, through the decades, somehow became embedded in our global consciousness — and fitness trackers.”

People who walked for about 8,000 steps a day were half as likely to die prematurely from heart disease or any other cause as those who accumulated 4,000 steps a day. The statistical benefits of additional steps were slight.

According to recent Study

Dr Lee told Gretchen:

The formal physical activity guidelines issued by the United States and other governments use time, not steps, as a recommendation, and suggest we exercise for at least 150 minutes a week, or a half-hour most days, in addition to any moving around we do as part of our normal, daily lives. Translated into step counts, that total would work out to a little more than 16,000 steps a week of exercise for most people, or about 2,000 to 3,000 steps most days. (Two thousand steps equal approximately a mile.) If, like many people, we currently take about 5,000 steps a day during the course of everyday activities like shopping and housework, adding the extra 2,000 to 3,000 steps would take us to a total of between 7,000 and 8,000 steps most days, which seems to be the step-count sweet spot.