Is walking 1000 steps a day necessarily make one healthy? Experts say that while 10,000 steps a day is a good number to reach, any amount of activity beyond what you’re currently doing will likely benefit your health.
The root of the 10,000-steps theory is not scientific. In the 1960’s in Japan, pedometers were sold and marketed under the name “manpo-kei,” which translates to “10,000 steps meter. The concept made sense to people, and gained popularity with Japanese walking groups.
Studies conducted since then suggest that people who increased their walking to 10,000 steps daily, experience health benefits.
One study found that women who increased their step count to nearly 10,000 steps a day reduced their blood pressure after 24 weeks. Another study of overweight women found that walking 10,000 steps a day improved their glucose levels.
Walking 10,000 steps a day is not an official recommendation. Instead what is recommended is for adults to engage in 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, such as brisk walking. To meet the recommendation, you need to walk about 7,000 to 8,000 steps a day.
If you normally walk about 5,000 steps a day, getting in an extra 30-minute, brisk walk into your day would take you to about 8,000 steps. There however is no reason to stop at 8,000 steps if you can do more.
A distinguished clinic recommends that people using pedometers first set short-term goals, such as taking an extra 1,000 steps daily for one week, and then build up to a long-term goal such as 10,000 steps.
There’s actually no one single strategy to increase your step count, each person should use a method that works best for them. The most important thing is to increase your activity beyond what you were doing before.
Dr. Clay Marsh, chief innovation officer at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, sums up everything by agreeing that people don’t need to feel like they have to achieve 10,000 steps to be active.
“We just want people to get up, and get started,” Marsh told Live Science in an interview in February. “Any amount of activity that you can do today that you didn’t do yesterday, you’re probably going to start benefiting from it.”