We’ve all heard that walking or aiming to walk 10,000 steps-a-day is the recommendation to lead a healthy and active life.
But did you know, there is no genuine scientific data or proof to suggest that 10,000 steps per day is the best amount to benefit your health? Scientists in Canada and Japan have even gone to argue that optimum steps per day should, in fact, be around 19,000 instead!
So, where did this myth come from?
The ‘10,000 steps-a-day myth’ started back in 1965 when a Japanese company named Yamasa Toki developed a new ‘step-counter’ device – the Manpo-Kei which translates to “10 Steps Meter”. This triggered a marketing initiative where the device was accompanied by the challenge of “let’s walk 10,000 meters a day”. This grew hugely popular especially throughout Japanese walking clubs due to the mass appeal for rounded numbers. Since then there has been this incentive to get people walking 10,000 steps a day.
Now regardless of whether this is a myth or not, walking 10,000 steps is a great aim or starting point for people looking to improve their health and lifestyle. On average people walk roughly between 6,000 and 7,000 steps a day, so add a brisk 30-minute walk into you daily routine and there you have it – 10,000 steps.
30-minutes extra exercise a day will be hugely beneficial to your health. It has even proven that a daily walk of at least 30 mins can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels and also help in preventing cardiovascular disease.
So, despite there being a lack of accuracy surrounding 10,000 steps, this genius marketing strategy has no doubt helped to encourage a healthy and active world.