Why walking 10,000 steps is not going to make you fitter

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Mobility is everything, or so the fitness gurus would have you believe. But the focus on mobility and movement isn’t new. It’s as old as 1965 when a Japanese firm launched the pedometer and popularised the idea that taking 10,000 steps daily leads to better health. The company was Yamasa Clock and Instrument Company, and its pedometer was called Manpo-kei, which translates to “10,000 steps meter” in Japanese. A 2019 study on daily step count by researchers from Harvard Medical School, surmised that this is where the magic number of 10,000 steps comes from. In a separate study published in Lancet last month, researchers wrote that “Although 10,000 steps per day is widely promoted to have health benefits, there is little evidence to support this recommendation.”

For this study, published in the Lancet, researchers analyzed 15 studies that covered the health and fitness of over 47,000 people, over a period of seven years. They found that while “10,000 steps” is a myth, there are health benefits for adults who clocked more steps. Adults who walked more had a 40% to 53% lower risk of mortality. They also found that taking more steps per day was associated with a progressively lower risk of all-cause mortality but varied by age. There was progressively lower risk of mortality among adults aged 60 years and older who walked about 6,000–8,000 steps per day, and among adults younger than 60 years who walked about 8,000–10,000 steps per day.


Should you be walking 10,000 steps everyday?Should you be walking 10,000 steps everyday? (Istockphoto)



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