On my Facebook page a couple of months back. I was asked the following question which I thought would be worth sharing as a blog.
Hi Andy. Really curious as to why 10,000 is often touted as the magic number when it comes to steps?
Below was my response.
I’ll try and keep my take on this as brief as possible. I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s a magic number, but it has been around for years, actually since the 60’s where it was originally used as a figure for a marketing study for a new pedometer that was being released and this figure has basically stuck since then as a good guide to work towards!
Getting 10,000 steps in a day isn’t for everyone or even necessary dependent on people’s activity levels, but often can be a good tool for sedentary people who need to move more, where it can give them a tangible goal to work towards, or for people maybe wanting to burn a few extra calories a day through Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT).
A benefit of trying to complete 10,000 steps a day is that you could potentially burn an extra 2000-3500 calories a week by doing so. With one pound of body fat equalling around 3500 cals, dependant on a few factors (current weight, exercise frequency etc.), if someone was looking to lose weight, they could theoretically lose an extra one pound a week by completing at least 10,000 steps each day. Personally, I believe getting out walking each day is great for people’s mental health, heart health and also great for lowering the risk of diabetes, so the more steps people can get in each day the better, whether this is someone who is getting back in to some form of fitness regime or for people already active.
With all the above being said, I often find it difficult with family and work commitments to get the 10,000 steps in. Today as an example I’ve only done around 5k steps. This included a 20 minute walk, but I have also done 30 minute workout this morning, so I’m not going to stress too much on this, but I do like the goal to work towards.
This was my take on it anyway. So if you can find the time, get out there and get them steps in. It will benefit you!
Hope you enjoyed