Posted on 2nd May 2017 by Fiona
May is National Walking Month – a month to inspire you to get out on your feet every day
10,000 – the magic number of recommended steps we need to do every day! But why and where has this come from?
Originally, the magic ‘10,000 steps a day concept’ was created in Japan back in the 1960s. A team of Japanese researchers worked out that the average person took 3,000 – 5,000 steps per day. However, if they were to increase their steps to 10,000 steps per day, the potential result would be healthier, thinner people!
This number wasn’t based on medical research, however, since then much research has been carried out and this seems to be the figure the NHS, WHO and other organisations have promoted to be the number of steps we should try and take every day to help improve our health and reduce the risk of many diseases. It’s an arbitrary figure, but people see to remember it and it encourages and nudges people towards being more active, so that’s not a bad thing!
10,000 steps equates to approximately 5 miles
10,000 steps roughly equates to 30 minutes of ‘activity’
In the UK, the NHS has published guidelines for the minimum activity levels we should aim for every day to maintain & improve our health. This includes 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity 5 days a week – brisk walking can be an integral part of this.
What can 10,000 steps help with?
- Improving overall health
- Decreasing risk of heart disease
- Reducing body fat % and helping weight loss
- Decreasing risk of type II diabetes
- Increasing energy levels
- Reducing stress
What’s good about 10,000 is that 10,000 steps a day is a realistic goal that is achievable by people of all shapes, sizes and ages. It isn’t really a magic number but a good guideline that matches activity expectations to meet recommended activity levels.
You’d be surprised how much you probably overestimate how many steps a day you actually do. Most people living a ‘normally’ active day will only do between 3,000 – 5,000 steps! So, reaching 10,000 does require some lifestyle changes and it will take some extra effort.