10,000 Steps Per Day: Myth or a Must?

A few weeks back the World Fitness fam went head to head in our step challenge, a bit of healthy rivalry to help make another Melbourne lockdown a little more bearable.

At the beginning I was determined to win, but after a few days I realised I was no longer walking for the sake of the challenge. I was strutting around the streets like a modern day Forest Gump because it made me feel A M A Z I N G!

For the first time I started paying attention to my daily step count. I mean, I  consider myself a pretty active gal, but daily steps were never my priority. Between work, gym and a social life it just wasn't something I made time for... until now.

walking outdoors

For a quick history lesson, the magical number of 10,000 steps per day dates backs to the 1965, when a marketing campaign surrounding a new, fancy pedometer, the 'Manpo-kei', was launched. The term 'Manpo-kei' actually translates to 10,000 steps in Japanese, and hence, our recommended daily step count created (the power of marketing huh!). 

Since then, plenty of people have researched the benefits of 10,000 steps per day, and it has been proven to do wonders for our health and fitness! From reducing our risk of heart disease to assisting with weight loss, boosting our mood and reducing anxiety, racking up those daily steps can have some amazing benefits on our physical, mental and social well-being!

But the question still remains... is 10,000 steps right for everyone?

For me personally, getting to 10,000 steps everyyy singleee dayyy is a bit unrealistic. I work in an office (the best office ever might I add), that's just over an hour's drive from home. That means I'm required to be sedentary for almost 10 hours a day. 

Sitting on my butt for so long I make sure I hit the gym at least 4-5 times per week, but you best believe 9 times outta 10 I'm picking a weights session over cardio. Factoring in the time I spend doing all the other necessary stuff, like cooking, cleaning, socialising, and sometimes it's honestly just impossible to hit that goal.

My solution? I've changed the daily step goal on my Garmin to 8,000 steps per day. A goal that is much more achievable, and one that is still going to see me a ton of health benefits. Sure, I still like to strive for 10,000 steps, but as I said, sometimes that just aint' happening. 

I also like to make up extra steps on the weekend when I've got a bit more time up my sleeve. I start most Saturday mornings with a 8-10km walk, which is usually about 10,500 - 13,000 steps. Including incidental movement, this brings my average step count for Saturday's to around 15,000. 

outdoor hike

Looking at my physical activity for a week, that normally equates to at least 4-5 hours in the gym, and 56,000 steps. A solid amount of exercise that is going to help me achieve my goals.

So, to sum it up, 10,000 steps per day isn't a myth but it also isn't a must. Just as there is a plenty of research to support 10,000 steps per day, there is a just as much that say 7,000 - 8,000 is just as a good. 

Your goal should be to work in as much steps a possible (as close as 10,000 as you can get), with bursts of different activity in between. So, jump on that treadmill and get to steppin'!

If you need any further advice on how many steps you should do, you can always reach out to our friendly and knowledgeable team! 

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