The number 10,000 originated as an arbitrary number with nil science backing it – to start. Now, the science is behind getting your 10,000 steps per day, and its benefits are brilliant.
You can see by the graph the difference in mortality from 2,000 to 4,000 steps – and this can be important for those with low mobility levels.
For a lot of the population, increasing daily walk load comes down to time and desire to get it done. But each day that you do – you are doing something fantastic for your heart, immune, lungs, mental, musculoskeletal, and bone health.
Remember that our step counters are a tool for measuring, and can not be relied on for absolute accuracy. Therefore I recommend 12,000 steps to those who are ready (mentally and physically) to improve their wellbeing.
We can see by the graph there is not a huge difference for those participating in 10 compared to the 16,000 steps, daily. For those who are more active – that’s great, and it will continue to assist in maintaining your fat verse muscle mass.
Tips to getting your 10,000 daily steps
If you find yourself stuck at the 6-8,000 steps, and unable to get over the hump to the magical 10,000 steps per day try to add in a 10-minute walk first thing in the morning or on your lunch break.
If you are not reaching even 8,000 daily – make that your goal first, it is super important to make goals achievable and more so, you need to want to make the change.
When you go to the supermarket, park the car further away and walk up a couple of extra isles. You could get off the bus or tram a stop early, or walk the kids to school rather than dropping them right at the front door – it will be good for their concentration for the day ahead as well!
Saint-Maurice PF, Troiano RP, Bassett DR, et al. Association of Daily Step Count and Step Intensity With Mortality Among US Adults. JAMA. 2020;323(12):1151–1160. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.1382