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Do we really need to take 10k steps a day for our health?

Do we really need to take 10k steps a day for our health?

Do we really need to take 10k steps a day for our health? 150 150 NewStartPT

We often hear that to be healthy, we should aim for 10000 stop a day. But that isn’t always
the case. In reality, It’s really about just doing more than you already are (unless you are
already quite active). A highly sedentary lifestyle comes with a higher risk of premature
death and disease. So, the more we move, the lower that risk becomes.


For a long time, it’s been recommended to take 10000 steps every day, but recent studies
have shown that fewer daily steps can still offer significant health benefits. One piece of
research from 2019 found that, for women in their 70s, 4,400 steps a day reduced their risk of
premature death
by 40 percent compared to women that completed fewer than 2,700 steps a
day. The more steps people walked, the lower their risk of dying was, before levelling off at
around 7,500 steps a day. No additional benefits were seen with more steps.


The number 10,000 is not really even based on science but rather part marketing gimmick,
part coincidence that dates back to 1960s Japan—to capitalise on the fitness craze following
the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, a pedometer was sold which was called ‘ Manpo-kei ’. This
translates to ‘10,000 steps metre’ and somehow, this number has been embedded in our
global consciousness, as well as fitness trackers.


Of course, we know the dangers of our increasingly sedentary lives. Studies have shown that
people who sit for eight hours or more every day (which is most of us), have a 59 percent
increased risk of premature death compared to those that sit for less than four hours a day.
But, research also found, an hour or so of moderate exercise counterbalanced the damage
done by sitting for most of the day.


For most people, starting small is going to be their best first point. Even if that is just
changing 1 meal a week and doing 10 minutes of walking a day. It’s a start, and can easily be
built on. Almost everyone has 10 minutes to spare in their day, and once it becomes part of
your routine, it can easily be built on and increased!

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