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Tread carefully - should we really be walking 10,000 steps a day?

In celebration of May being National Walking Month, we investigated whether we should really be walking 10,000 steps a day.

If we’d have asked someone a decade ago what their step goal was, it’s likely we’d have gotten a blank stare. But with the explosion in popularity of fitness trackers, step counters, and smartwatches, it’s easy to count our steps.

Walking 10,000 steps is often touted as the magic number we should be achieving every day, but is it really an effective goal when it comes to staying healthy?

Sam Ntatalika gives us the answer:

The Japanese device that was launched in 1965 for counting steps was called 万歩計 (manpo-kei) which translates as:

万 = 10,000

歩 = walk

計 = measure

10,000 steps has become the default goal for most fitness trackers, smartphone apps and even some corporate wellness programs whose financial rewards are based on the number of steps employees log each day. But research shows that walking as few as 4,400 steps a day is beneficial! [1]

Give me more: Want to know more about the amazing benefits of walking and how it can improve our mood, boost creativity, increase our lifespan, and reduce depression. Read our blog 'The surprising benefits of walking'.


  1. Association of Step Volume and Intensity With All-Cause Mortality in Older Women (2019). JAMA.




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