Do you know where the 10000 steps/day recommendation originally came from?
It didn’t come from some meticulously designed & executed study…
It came from a Japanese marketing company who thought it was a catchy name for a pedometer in the 1960s.
But since then the 10000 steps / day recommendation has been studied and the benefits investigated…
What have studies found?
Well, in one 2019 study, they found that women in their 70s who reached 4,400 steps a day reduced their risk of premature death by about 40%, compared to women who took <2,700 steps per day.
The rate of mortality got progressively lower with the more steps they took, but the benefits tapered off at about 7500 steps / day.
Another study found that people who walked 8,000 steps a day were half as likely to die prematurely as those who walked 4,000 steps a day.
Did you notice both of these numbers are less than the 10,000 recommendation?
So what’s the message..?
Well for starters, don’t let the number 10,000 intimidate you!
We know that walking is good for our health. It:
- Improves circulation
- Helps maintain bone density
- Supports joint health
- Improves mood and sleep
- Slows mental decline and reduces onset of Alzheimers
- Strengthens Muscles
And on top of all of that, it can just be a really nice enjoyable way to move your body.
Rather than fixating on the 10,000 steps number though, start by asking yourself how you can get a few more steps in today.
And if you have no idea how many you’re getting in on average – try tracking it for a week or so!
And remember, moving your body is just one part of the equation! Sleep, stress management and diet are all just as important. So if getting your steps in isn’t a problem for you, maybe there’s another area that needs your attention..?