Of course, it’s not bad for your health to reach 10,000 steps a day, but if you’re only getting to a few thousand, there’s no reason to beat yourself up.
You’ve probably heard that you’re supposed to log 10,000 steps a day for optimal health, but new research suggests you may not actually have to walk that much to reap the benefits of an active day.
A 2019 study finds that women who average 4,400 steps per day have a lower risk of mortality than those who average 2,700 and that the increasing benefits of more steps level out around 7,500. So, if you’re really trying to maximize your health, aim for 7,500, but just getting to 4,400 is already doing you some substantial good.
Another study found that the health differences between those who took 4,000 steps a day and those who took 8,000 weren’t even that significant.
So where did the 10,000 figure come from? Researchers believe it’s actually linked back to a Japanese pedometer from 1965 whose name, Manpo-kei, translates to “10,000 steps meter.” Of course, it’s certainly not bad for your health to reach 10,000 steps a day, but if you’re only getting to a few thousand, there’s no reason to beat yourself up.
The true key to healthy walking each day is consistency. Whether it’s 4,000 or 8,000 steps, getting outside every day and moving your body will deliver long-lasting health benefits. Plus, you get to entertain your friends with your Japanese pedometer fun fact next time you’re out on a walk!