How Far Will 10,000 Steps Get You?

The goal of 10,000 steps/day, although developed arbitrarily decades ago, now has some solid scientific support.

Powerful Motivator

Research shows that setting a goal of 10,000 steps/day is more motivating-and leads to a greater boost in activity-than setting other types of individualized goals. Perhaps the symmetry of the number 10,000 enhances it’s appeal.

Plenty of Gain

A sample of some of the documented health benefits from taking 10,000 steps/day include:

  • Short term: After only 8 weeks of 10,000 steps/day, blood glucose levels improved considerably
  • Long term: After 6 months of 10,000 steps/day, a drop in 11 mmHg systolic blood pressure was noted, in addition to significant weight loss

Mind the Gap

  • Most Americans walks 5,000-6,000 steps/day in their usual activities
  • The average gap to be filled to reach 10,000 steps is an additional 4,000-5,000/day

How to Get There

  • 2,000 steps will take you 1 mile
  • If you need to add 4,000 steps/day,  plan on adding 2 miles of walking per day
  • 2 miles takes about 40 min to walk (can be broken up in 20 min blocks)

Caveats

10,000 steps/day is not an ideal goal for everyone:

  • may be too much for some older folks or those with serious illnesses
  • may be too little for children or very active adults
  • check with your doctor to help set the best goal for your particular situation

Steps Matter

Although not a perfect number for everyone, 10,000 steps turns out to be a pretty good target for most people. And many people,  after buying a step tracking device, are startled to learn how little they move.

But don’t be like some I’ve heard of who will do anything to fudge their numbers-including mounting their step tracker on the dog!

I hope you use the amazing power that new technology offers to motivate-and move you. Every step counts!

References:

How Many Steps Per Day Are Enough?

Effect of Pedometer-Based Physical Activity

 

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