When you join Fitbit, the default goal we set for each member is the magical number of 10,000 steps a day (you can also choose to customize your goal). And while this may not be the first time you’ve heard that goal, it might be more meaningful, and motivating, to understand its origins.
The Japanese first started using the 10,000 steps a day number, as part of a marketing campaign! (to help sell pedometers). Since that initial campaign however, medical authorities around the world have agreed that 10,000 is a healthy number for which to aim. The American Heart Association uses the 10,000 steps metric as a guideline to follow for improving health and decreasing risk of heart disease, the number one killer of men and women in America.
10,000 steps a day is a rough equivalent to the Surgeon General’s recommendation to accumulate 30 minutes of activity most days of the week. It should be enough to reduce your risk for disease and help you lead a longer, healthier life. The benefits are many: lower BMI, reduced waist size, increased energy, and less risk for Type II diabetes and heart disease. In fact, a study of the 10,000 steps a day method conducted in 2010 reported conclusive health benefits.
10,000 steps daily is approximately 5 miles. Unless you have a very active lifestyle or profession, you probably don’t reach 10,000 steps on a given day without putting some effort into your activity. This could be a lifestyle change such as walking to work, or the addition of an exercise routine to your day.
Another reason to do it? For most people, it’s convenient, free and simple to reach with just a little change to your daily routine. Working towards a 10,000 step a day goal? Good for you! Join the conversation below to help other get motivated, too!
Read more about 10,000 steps:
- Should You Really Take 10,000 Steps a Day?
- An Ultra Runner Explains the Magic of 10,000 Steps
- Good News: Extra Steps Can Offset Sitting
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.