Let’s walk 10,000 steps a day

Let’s walk 10,000 steps a day

You’ve probably heard that you should walk 10,000 steps per day for fitness and weight loss.

How did they come up with this amount?

Is this a fitness myth or is there any research that shows that it works?

In 1965, Japanese company Yamasa Toki introduced their new step-counter, which they called Manpo-Kei. This translated into “10,000 steps meter” and they marketed their device with the slogan, “Let’s walk 10,000 steps a day.”

Research studies show that 10,000 steps per day isn’t a magic number, but it is a good indicator of how much activity a person is achieving in a day. Walking more steps per day is also associated with being thinner.

10,000 steps meter

Research from JAMA-Internal Medicine

A study was designed which included 17,000….That’s right seventeen thousand older women. Their average age was 72 and all women agreed to clip on wearable devices to track their steps as they went about their day-to-day activities.

It turns out that women who took about 4,000 steps per day got a boost in longevity, compared with women who took fewer steps. In fact, women who took 4,400 steps per day, on average, were about 40 percent less likely to die during the follow-up period of about four years compared with women who took 2,700 steps.

Another surprise: The benefits of walking maxed out at about 7,500 steps. In other words, women who walked more than 7,500 steps per day saw no additional boost in longevity.

Benefits of Walking

Burning Enough Calories for Weight Loss With 10,000 Steps

The number of calories you burn by walking depends primarily on how much you weigh and secondarily on your speed of motion. Each 2,000 to 2,500 steps is about a mile. Walking a mile burns about 80 calories for a 150-pound person. Depending on your weight, walking 10,000 steps burns between 250 and 600 calories. You can use the pedometer steps to calories converter chart to estimate this for yourself. You will need to know your approximate steps per mile.

Benefits of Walking

Still Gaining Weight? Add More Steps

If you are already logging 10,000 steps a day and not losing weight or maintaining your weight, then the key is to add another 2,000 more steps per day while eating the same amount or less. You can use many tips to find ways to add more activity throughout your day and to set aside time for dedicated moderate to vigorous intensity exercise.

You should also work on eliminating empty calories and getting good nutrition from everything you eat. A food and exercise diary can help you spot where to make improvements.

One study found that postal workers who walk 15,000 steps per day and spend little time sitting were more likely to be thinner and have fewer cardiometabolic risk factors.

Start Counting Your Steps Today

A step count goal can motivate you to increase your activity and exercise. Today, you don’t even need a separate pedometer, as your mobile phone tracks your steps taken while you carry it.

So, if 10,000 steps has been feeling out of reach to you, it may be time reset those factory settings on your fitness tracker. Instead, try to hit at least 4,400 a day, along with daily activities that you enjoy. And stick to it.


To achieve health benefits, adults aged 18-64 years should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more.

Achieve Health Benefits



    Good evening, Dr. Singh,

    We moved to Chicago approx. 6 weeks ago. Can you recommend a good rehab and/or knee doctor here (preferably affiliated with Northwestern Medical School). I haven’t had the gel injections since I last saw you in 2018 and need to have them before August, when we’ll be traveling and doing a lot of walking.

    Thanks for your excellent care and for any recommendations you may make.

    Best regards.
    Patti Skigen

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