What should I aim for when counting my daily step count? Is it better to go for 10,000 or 15,000?
The number of steps you take each day has become a common way to measure your fitness level. Most experts recommend at least 10,000 steps per day, but some say even higher numbers are beneficial.
It seems like everyone wants to know how many steps they should take every day. There are two schools of thought on this topic.
Some say 10,000 steps are enough to get the benefits of exercise, while others claim that going beyond 15,000 steps per day can improve health. So which one is right?
We think there’s no such thing as “too high” or “too low”. The goal is to be active and move around more than sitting still all day long. If you’re not moving around, then you’re doing something wrong.
You don’t need to run marathons to benefit from being physically active – just getting up and moving around will help you feel better.
And if you do decide to start running, remember that it takes time to build endurance, so don’t expect to see results overnight!
Should We Really Be Doing 10,000 Steps A Day?
The advice that we take 10K steps a day is more of a marketing accident than based on scientific research. In fact, it might even be harmful.
A recent study found that people who took less than 5,000 steps per day had lower blood pressure than those who walked about 10,000 steps daily.
But what if we did just half that amount? What if we took 5,000 steps a day? Or 2,500? Do we really need to do ten thousand steps a day to feel better?
There are many reasons why we shouldn’t follow this recommendation. First, there isn’t much evidence that taking 10,000 steps every day makes us healthier. Second, walking slowly doesn’t burn nearly as many calories as running does.
Third, doing too little exercise could increase our risk of injury. And fourth, while it’s true that some fitness trackers recommend that we walk 10,000 steps a week, most of them don’t actually tell you how many steps you should take each day.
In fact, researchers say that the number of steps we take each day is largely irrelevant.
They suggest that the real key to getting fit is to move around throughout the day. So if you want to lose weight, start moving more during your day.
If you want to build muscle, try lifting weights. But no matter what, make sure you’re moving enough to keep your heart healthy and strong.
Walking, In General, Is Good For Health
Tracking your steps is a great way to see how much exercise you actually do each week. But, there’s another benefit to tracking your steps: You’ll feel better about yourself.
Regular physical activity helps reduce stress levels, improves sleep quality, boosts energy, and increases overall well-being.
In addition, it reduces the risk of certain chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.
It Depends On Age
A recent study found that older Americans take fewer steps per day than younger ones.
This could be due to the fact that older people tend to walk less because they are generally healthier and don’t have as many health problems.
Another reason might be that older people spend more time sitting down and watching TV.
The researchers looked at data from 2,844 participants over 50 years old who had no history of cardiovascular disease or cancer and took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
They measured each participant’s weight, height, body mass index (a measure of obesity), and whether they smoked cigarettes. Then they asked the participants about their physical activity levels.
They found that men aged 51 to 60 took 4,936 steps per day, while women in the same age group walked 5,534 steps. Those ages 61 to 70 took 3,766 steps per day, while those 71 and up took just 2,639 steps.
Take Into Account Hormones
Women’s hormones may even need to be taken into consideration due to the amount of energy that is exerted during menstruation, which is also why women are recommended to eat more during their periods.
A recent study found that there is a significant difference in the number of walking men and women do throughout life. In fact, it seems like males are just born to stroll.
From childhood through adulthood, men tend to walk more. They take an average of 12,500 to 16,000 steps per day. Women, on the other hand, take about 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day on average.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago, who used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Researchers analyzed how much people walked during one week and divided them into three age groups: 0-4, 5-17, and 18-64.
For each group, they calculated the average number of steps per day. Then, they compared those numbers to determine if there were differences between genders.
Your Job Impacts Your Number Of Steps
Jenny Craig conducted a small research experiment in 2012 involving 10 participants, each with a different profession. Each participant wore a pedometer while walking around during the course of one week.
A few weeks later, the results came back. And here are some interesting findings about what people do for a living and how many steps they take on average every day.
The most active occupations tend to be those where physical activity is encouraged, such as teachers, nurses, office workers, and tradespeople.
On the flip side, jobs like waiters, hairdressers, retail salespersons, and call center associates tend to involve less exercise.
While it’s true that there aren’t many studies investigating the relationship between work and fitness, there are enough clues to suggest that working out might actually help you burn calories.
For example, a recent survey found that people who exercised regularly reported being happier and healthier than those who didn’t.
The Number Varies Per Country
People in certain countries tend to walk more than others.
Researchers used data from a smartphone app called Moves to track the daily step counts of 715,627 people in 111 countries over the course of about 95 days. They discovered that people in some countries walked more than others.
Here’s how it breaks down:
Country Average steps per Day:
- Hong Kong 6,880
- China 6,189
- United Kingdom 5,444
- Germany 5,205
- France 5,141
- Australia 4,491
- Canada 4,819
- United States 4,774
The researchers aren’t sure why there are differences in walking habits across different parts of the world.
One possibility is the weather; hot climates might encourage people to walk less, while cold climates could make people want to bundle up and hunker down indoors.
Another factor could be culture since people in some cultures don’t like to go outside during certain times of the year.
There’s no doubt that walking is good for your health. It can improve your mood, lower your risk of heart disease and even boost your memory. But how much should you walk?
That depends on several factors including your weight, height, gender, and lifestyle. If you’re looking to increase your daily step count, start slowly and build up gradually.
You may find that you need to adjust your routine based on your current circumstances.
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