Exercise

Just 7500 Steps a Day is A-OK


You’ve heard about a goal of 10K steps a day. It’s the magic number for maintaining a healthy body, right? Then, why is it so hard to hit that target every day? Even people who are active every hour often struggle to hit 10K steps a day.

Science has solved this riddle! A 2019 study published JAMA Internal Medicine found that 10K steps has nothing to do with added health benefits. Instead, this number was manufactured by a pedometer marketing campaign in Japan decades ago. According to the research, only 4400 steps on average can create health benefits. Any steps past 7500 don’t add up to any extra health benefits beyond a few extra calories burned.

This, my friends, is good news. It’s not uncommon for people to set a grand goal. Then, when they fall short of meeting the goal, they give up on the habit altogether. Getting 10K steps a day is a challenge. Meeting the 7500 mark is much more achievable.

Getting 10K steps a day is a challenge. Meeting the 7500 mark is much more achievable.

Science tells us that small, achievable goals are more likely to change habits. How can you get more steps in your day?

1. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator
2. Park your car at the far end of the parking lot
3. Get off the bus/train one stop sooner and walk
4. Pace while talking on the phone
5. Take a walk after meals
6. Foster a dog who needs daily walks
7. Ask a friend to walk with you every evening

References:

  • American Psychological Association. (2008, April 9). Making lifestyle changes that last. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/lifestyle-changes.
  • Lee, I.-M., Shiroma, E. J., Kamada, M., Bassett, D. R., Matthews, C. E., & Buring, J. E. (2019). Association of Step Volume and Intensity With All-Cause Mortality in Older Women. JAMA Internal Medicine, 179(8), 1105–1112. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.0899

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