One step at a time
The Mayo Clinic recommends that we take 10,000 steps every day to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In this day and age most people spend much of their day behind a desk or on the couch - did you know that during an average day most of us would sit longer than we sleep? The challenge for all of us is meeting life obligations and looking after ourselves at the same time.
Why do I need 10,000 steps in the first place?
The following pedometer indices have been developed to provide a guideline on how many steps are enough.
Steps per day Activity Level
Less than 5,000 Sedentary
5,000-7,499 Low active
7,500- 9,999 Somewhat active
More than 10,000 Active
More than 12,500 Highly active
Based on a study conducted by the University of Tennessee and Arizona State University, people who reach the 10,000 step goal every day "have less body fat and lower blood pressure than their less active counterparts". This shouldn't be a surprise - it fits right in with the guidelines created by the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) for healthy adults, which says to include 30 mins of moderate-intensity cardio 5 days a week or 20 minutes of vigorous cardio a day.
Walking is a great form of "moderate-intensity cardio" and by completing 10,000 steps every day (in combination with a healthy diet!) you are well within the standards of a healthy adult.
Other forms of exercise count as steps too so check our conversion chart to learn how to convert your activity to steps.
So how far are 10,000 steps?
Well, 10,000 steps are approximately 8 kilometres, or 1 hour 40 minutes of walking. However, these figures will vary according to stride length and walking speed. That may seem like a lot of walking, but if you add up all the smaller bursts of walking that you do during the day (walking to the bus, walking to the lunchroom, walking around the house etc etc etc) it isn't all that crazy! We have so many shortcuts in our lives, however, that it can be a challenge to reach the 10,000 step target each and every day.
Making some simple changes to our daily routine can make a huge impact on the step count at the end of the day. To make the goal of 10,000 steps less daunting, try increasing your step count by 500 steps a week, every week until you reach your goal.