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10K Steps a Day? You Can Stop Doing That Now

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

Exercise Physiologist, Shirit Rosenberg, reveals the real number of daily steps you need to walk in order to reduce death rates, and it's way less than 10K.


By Shirit Kamil-Rosenberg, Ph.D. Walking and other low-impact activity are a great way to relieve stress and reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, dementia, cancer, obesity, and depression to name a few. However, how much do you need to walk or even how many steps do you need in a day to benefit your overall health? The average American gets between 3,000 to 5,000 steps a day, depending on what sources you read. However, the goal of 10,000 steps is what we are used to hearing in order to fulfill our activity for the day. Yet this was not scientifically proven when it came out. It is not quite known, but what most sources have mentioned is that the 10,000 came from a pedometer sold in Japan in 1965 translated to “10,000 steps meter”.
"The goal of 10K steps is what we are used to hearing in order to fulfill our activity for the day. Yet this was not scientifically proven and came from a pedometer sold in Japan in 1965 translated to “10,000 steps meter”. Rosenberg, EdD
Nevertheless, studies have shown that you don’t need to reach 10,000 steps to get all the benefits. A study that made headlines from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School looked at the relationship between the number of steps and all-cause mortality (death due to any cause) in older women (45 years old and older). It was shown that between 4,400 to 7,500 steps per day, could reduce death rates before leveling off. By getting 4,400 steps you can reduce your chances of mortality by 41% more than those who only take 2,700 steps a day. Think about it - you can get up to 7,500 steps and still get the benefits such as reducing your risk of obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and dementia. This is important to be aware of as just getting some walking in per day or other types of physical activity can benefit your health.
"Ola Ka Ola has many classes that can help you increase your step count and make it fun. Just keep moving and have fun while doing it.". Rosenberg, EdD
Some important considerations when getting out for a walk or other moderate-intensity activities: According to Physical Activity for Americans, a good guide is to get 150 minutes a week (30 minutes a day) for moderate daily activity. You can break your activity into 10-minute intervals, 3 times a day, and work your way up to 30-minute moderate-intensity activities, such as walking.

Ways to increase your step count: - Walk your dog - Take dance breaks throughout the day - Get out of the chair and go for a walk around the office/house - Make it a family activity - Park farther away - Use the stairs - Ola Ka Ola has many classes that can help you increase your step count and make it fun.


The key take-home message is that you don’t need 10,000 steps to get health benefits. You can get as many as 7,500 steps to get health benefits.
Just keep moving and have fun while doing it.
 

About Shirit Kamil-Rosenberg, EdD, ACSM CEP

A certified clinical exercise physiologist who has a doctorate in exercise physiology. Her
expertise is working with people with chronic diseases (diabetes, heart disease, stroke, etc.) and the benefits of physical activity. Shirit has worked in clinical and research settings working primarily with older adults instructing cardiac rehabilitation in the past as well as conducting cardiopulmonary and clinical stress tests. Her passion is to let people know and show the importance of physical activity to everyone. Shirit is married and has 4 children. She enjoys spending time with her family and staying active when possible. Ola Ka Ola fits her busy schedule by allowing her to take early classes and join on demand when possible.

---------- References I-Min Lee, MBBS, ScD 1,2; Eric J. Shiroma, ScD 3; Masamitsu Kamada, Ph.D. 4; et al. Association of Step Volume and Intensity With All-Cause Mortality in Older Women. JAMA Intern Med. 2019;179(8):1105-1112. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.0899 (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2734709) https://health.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf

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