I’ve been thinking about this “walk 10,000” steps a day thing since I got my Jawbone fitness tracker that counts my steps. Before that I didn’t give any thoughts to steps because I exercise 7 days a week and don’t need to count steps.
I know the benefit of walking though. Once upon a time in the not so distant past I didn’t exercise for about 4 years (it was after all the cycling in Australia and before I started running), I had little kids or was pregnant or both and all I did was walk.
It helped in keeping my weight under control both during pregnancies and after. I had no strength or aerobic fitness but my weight was stable at a healthy level. I don’t know how much I walked these days in steps, all I know is that it was hours. At least 2. Usually 3 or 4.
I’m therefore not surprised that it’s recommended that everyone try to walk at least 10,000 steps a day. If you’re interested in who started it all, here is who (and why):
The recommended 10,000 steps a day originated in Japan in the early 1960s. Japanese researchers led by Dr Yoshiro Hatano determined the average person took 3,500 to 5,000 steps per day, and that if they were to increase their steps to 10,000 steps per day, the result would be healthier, thinner people!
When I first blogged and tweeted about my new step counter and the whole 10,000 steps thing last week, a few people said 10,000 steps was unrealistic in this day and age, and that maybe this large number put people off from even trying.
Out of curiosity, I’ve been monitoring just how much I walk during a working day – most people who struggle with reaching 10,000 steps are probably office workers.
Here’s how my work day steps add up:
- 2 minute walk to the tube station, one tube change walking up and down all escalators, 7 minute walk to Crossfit: 1900 steps
- 13 minute walk to the office: 2471 steps
- Walking around in the office: 1096 steps
- Lunchtime 15 min walk around the shops: 1639 steps
- Walking around the office, 5 minute walk to the tube station, one tube change walking up and down all escalators, 2 minute walk home: 2217 steps
- Walking around the house until bed time: 1516
Total steps: 10,839
So looks like for me it’s not too difficult to hit 10,000 but I walk up and down every escalator I see and most of the time take the stairs at the office (if it’s 1-2 floors, not 8).
I barely go over 10,000 though so I can see how people who drive to the office would struggle with reaching 10,000 unless they took a long walk during lunch.
What do you think? Is 10,000 steps achievable for busy workaholic people these days? I think for those who stay at home with kids it’s totally doable, on Wednesdays when I stay at home and walk the kids to school I do 8,000 steps just from the two trips to school.