Do you really need to walk 10,000 steps a day to stay healthy?
How many steps do you take everyday? How many is considered beneficial for health? Here are some myth, trivia and facts:
Myth: You must walk 10,000 steps a day to call it a healthy lifestyle
Trivia: It all started in 1965 when a Japanese company began selling a step-counter (i.e. a pedometer) called manpo-kei (ten-thousand steps meter). The 10,000 steps target was somewhat arbitrary, but the idea has stuck in public consciousness since then.
Fact: Most sedentary people will take 5000-7500 steps a day. If you add 30 minutes of walking daily, that will account for an extra 3000-4000 steps, which will bring you close to the 10,000-step threshold.
Walking fewer steps still has benefits
Fact: A JAMA study showed that those who averaged 7000-10,000 steps per day had the same mortality rate as those who walked more than 10,000 steps.
Fact: Improving your step count is more important than achieving any specific threshold. A Canadian study showed that diabetic patients who increased from 5000 to just 6200 steps per day resulted in improved blood sugar control.
Fact: A 24-week walking programme with a goal of just 9000 steps per day was effective in reducing blood pressure; and lipid profile is improved simply by increasing the step count from 6800-8500 steps per day.
Fact: Health benefits of walking are endless – from preventing osteoporosis, arthritis and dementia, to increasing muscle mass and stamina and so on…
Conclusion: If walking 10,000 steps a day seems like an overambitious goal in your busy life, be assured that any physical activity is going to pay dividends in the long run.
You can still reap huge health benefits even if you fall short of the 10,000-step mark, because the greatest benefit comes from doing something rather than nothing!
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