Reaching the goal of 10,000 steps per day is often touted as a key benchmark for decreasing the risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The goal of 10,000 steps per day originated in the late 1960s in Japan (where pedometers were first developed), however, this number was just a target and wasn’t based on any evidence or research.
The issue is that now the goal of 10,000 steps is considered active, but it is actually a meaningful baseline?
Studies show that we need to be walking more than 10,000 steps a day to get any real health benefits. A study on the Scottish postal service found 15,000 steps per day to be the minimum exercise level that resulted in normal waist lines and decreased risk of disease.
As the decades have passed we have become more and more sedentary. An Australian health survey conducted in 2012 showed that the average Australian takes 7,000 steps a day. In 2015 the average dropped lower to 4,000 steps a day.
Does walking has positive changes in your health and wellbeing?
Walking is very beneficial to boost moods, lower stress and promote clear thought, along with helping to control blood sugar levels, decrease cholesterol and enhance lung function. However, studies have also shown that to get all these benefits, the 10,000 steps per day must be at a moderate to high intensity. If you count your steps and 10,000 is currently your daily target, then by moving your goal to 15,000 steps and ensuring that 10,000 of them are at moderate to high intensity (not just incidental), you could experience some substantial positive changes in your health and wellbeing!
As a rough guide, if you walk at a speed of 100 steps per minute, then 10,000 steps will take one hour and 40 minutes. Reset your daily goal and see the results! And, most importantly, keep moving!