Are 10,000 Steps a Day Ideal?
With the rise of Fitbits and other kinds of fitness trackers, steps are being measured very carefully by many in order to estimate the amount of calories one burns in a day. This measurement is deemed as necessary in order to support one’s health. The number of steps that have been deemed as ideal to support one's health goals are 10,000 steps. However, data and the health guidelines today suggest that 10,000 steps is not necessary to support health goals. Rather, the ideal of 10,000 steps was a marketing technique from the past that has been discovered to be false.
Current studies show that the ideal of achieving 10,000 steps a day is not necessary. While a 2019 study did find that the risk of premature death lowers by walking more steps, the lowered risk eventually stayed constant at about 7,500 steps. In contrast, the average American walks 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day. This demonstrates that achieving 10,000 steps a day may not be a feasible goal for many Americans either. Another study found that taking about 7,000 steps a day can reduce the risk of premature death by 50 to 70 percent, showing that exactly 10,000 steps is not at all necessary for health benefits. Any amount of steps within the range of 7,000 to 13,000 daily steps is ideal for the maximal benefits associated with exercise, which can be achieved while doing daily tasks. New health guidelines also support the idea that 10,000 steps a day are not the ideal amount of steps.
Guidelines set by the government and other agencies do not necessarily recommend 10,000 steps a day. The U.S. government recommends 30 minutes of exercise a day, which means about 2,000-3,000 steps a day. The Mayo Clinic concurs with its recommendations to use walking as a good form of exercise, but the clinic believes the 10,000 step goal is not necessary for good health. The amount of steps one chooses to achieve a day depends on the health goals one hopes to attain. For instance, more than 10,000 steps a day can be beneficial to those wishing to lose weight. Others may find that less steps a day are much more feasible due to busy routines that do not allow much movement.
Ten thousand steps a day is often not achievable for many due to a multitude of factors, including work and school. Data and other agencies also demonstrate that this amount of steps is not crucial for a long and healthy life. Because of these findings, one should not worry if they do not meet this benchmark everyday. However, it is very important that one exercises for at least 30 minutes a day to ensure a healthy life.
Do We Really Need to Take 10000 Steps a Day for Our Health? New York Times. 2021 September 15.
Rieck, T. 10,000 steps a day: Too low? Too high? Mayo Clinic. 2020 March 23.
Stenson, J. How many steps a day should you take? Study finds 7,000 can go a long way. 2021 September 12.