Is It Really Important To Walk 10,000 Steps A Day?
When it comes to being fit and healthy, we’re often reminded to aim to walk 10,000 steps a day. This can be a frustrating target to achieve, especially when we’re busy with work and other commitments.
Most of us know by now that 10,000 steps is recommended everywhere as a target to achieve — and yet where did this number actually come from?
The 10,000-step-per-day goal appears to have been inspired by a Yamasa Clock pedometer sold in Japan in 1965. The unit was dubbed “Manpo-kei,” which means “10,000 steps meter” in Japanese.
This was intended to be a marketing tactic for the device, but it seems to have caught on as the everyday phase goal around the world. Famous smartwatches, such as Fitbit, include it in their everyday activity goals.
Since then, researchers have looked into the 10,000-step-per-day target. The fact that some studies have shown that this phase goal improves heart health, mental health, and even diabetes risk may explain why we have stuck with this arbitrary number to some degree.
Distances were measured in ancient Rome by counting measures. In reality, the word “mile” comes from the Latin phrase mila passum, which roughly translates to “1,000 paces.”. It’s estimated that the average person walks about 100 steps per minute, which means that walking a mile will take just under 30 minutes.
To achieve the 10,000 step target, a person will have to walk between four and five miles per day (around two hours of activity).
However, while some research indicates that 10,000 steps a day is beneficial to one’s health, new research from Harvard Medical School suggests that 4,400 steps per day is adequate to substantially reduce the risk of death in women. This was in comparison to just walking 2,700 steps a day.
The lower the risk of death, the more steps people took, until it plateaued at about 7,500 steps a day. With further steps, no additional benefits were observed. While it’s unclear if similar effects can be seen in men, it’s one example of how can everyday movement can improve health and reduce mortality risk.
Although the World Health Organization suggest that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity (or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity) each week, evidence shows that even low-intensity exercise will benefit your health, but moderate-intensity exercise does so more effectively.
This ensures that your daily steps will count against your 150 minutes of goal operation.
Sitting for long periods of time may have negative consequences, which can be mitigated by physical activity. According to study, people who sat for eight hours or more a day had a 59 percent higher risk of death than those who sat for fewer than four hours a day.
They did discover, however, that doing 60-75 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a day appeared to reduce the increased risk of death. As a result, brisk walking can be beneficial in reducing the negative effects of prolonged sitting.
According to new studies from the University of Texas, if you walk less than 5,000 steps a day, the body is less able to metabolize fat the next day. A person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes is often increased when fat accumulates in the body. Previous research has shown that people who walk fewer than 4,000 steps a day are unable to reverse their reduced fat metabolism.
Increasing your physical activity, such as your step count, lowers your risk of death by improving your fitness, which includes lowering the risk of chronic diseases like dementia and some cancers.
In some cases, it aids in the treatment of health issues such as type 2 diabetes. Exercise may also aid in the enhancement and maintenance of our immune systems. However, current research suggests that taking 10,000 steps a day isn’t enough for health benefits; half of that goal appears to be beneficial.
If you want to increase your regular step count or just want to walk more, raising your current step count by around 2,000 steps a day is a simple way to do so. Other easy ways to get more exercise on a regular basis include walking to work if necessary or joining an online exercise program if you work from home.
It can also be helpful to go for a walk with friends rather than meeting in a cafe or bar. And, since even small amounts of physical activity are beneficial to your health, if you work at a desk all day, taking daily breaks to walk around would help you quickly get more physical activity.