You’ve probably heard or been told that you need to be walking at least 10,000 steps every day. If you’re an Upgrade Group Training member or a member at any gym really, you no doubt have a fitness monitor you wear that tells you ever day how many steps you’ve taken that day. We all love to track results right? The 10,000 step goal is an easy one to remember and we know every day whether we’ve done it or not right? It’s what we should be doing too right?
First, that 10,000 step goal thing was invented by a marketing firm in Japan. They made it up. Back during the 1964 Olympics in Japan several companies were looking to capitalize on the fitness craze sweeping the nation as the host country for the Olympics that year. They came up with a number that sounded good and nearly 60 years later, we all still believe that number.
It’s not really a bad thing though. Being more active is better than not being active. If shooting for 10,000 steps gets you up from the couch, then good. It doesn’t matter where the number came from, the outcome is positive.
We’ve got some better information out now that tells us that you don’t even need to do 10,000 steps in a day to get benefit from the activity. Steps per day is a good metric to measure for physical activity during the day. The number though might not need to be up to 10k.
More is better than nothing scientists discovered. Shocking right? But what they found 5,000 beats 4,000 and 4,000 beats 3,000 but there is nothing magical about 10,000. Scientists found that,
“7,000 steps seemed to be an important inflection point. Taking that many steps reduced participants’ chances of premature death by 50 to 70 percent.”
Further, they (those scientists) found that walking at a more brisk pace, of say 80 to 100 steps per minute has more health benefits.
In two recent papers, the researchers followed 78,000 people in the UK and found brisk walkers had a 35 percent lower risk of dying, a 30 percent lower risk of dementia, and a 25 percent lower risk of heart disease or cancer, suggesting the pace may be the key.
So what have we learned? Getting up and moving is better than not doing anything at all. Moving more is better than moving a little. 7,000 steps is the magic number to shoot for now and if possible, make those 7.000 steps feel like actual exercise rather than walking to the copier and back to your desk.