Updated: Nov 4, 2022
In this post, I want to you about walking. I'm sure many of us have either thought about walking or walk diligently every day or we're somewhere in between that happy medium.
What I would like to share specifically is about how much should you actually walk per day. Many of us know that 10,000 steps is the gold standard of what we're supposed to be minimally walking per day -- I want to challenge that number just a little bit.
Where Did 10,000 Steps Come From Anyway?
That number, 10,000, was actually born out of a study that showed participants walking from about 4,000 to 18,000 steps a day and demonstrating a benefit at each level. After, the researchers averaged those numbers to 10,000. That's why we have that number today.
There's a more recent study from 2019 that took about 17,000 women and they followed these women over a course of a week and recorded their walking habits, including how fast they walked at 1, 5, and 30 minute intervals, as well as how much they walk per day in terms of step count.
The researchers took that data, followed up with the study participants about four or five years later and looked at their mortality rate, any adverse health events that happened since then, then compared that with their step count from the initial data.
So How Many Steps Should I Be Walking Per Day?
The study concluded that at minimum, if a woman (and we're gonna generalize this for men too) walks 2,700 steps a day, you'd have a 41% decrease in mortality. To be frank, 2700 steps per day is not that much. After this conclusion, they also looked at the data to see at what point did the decrease in the mortality rate and improvement in health plateau.
This brings us to our new number -- 7,500 steps per day. That is when the health benefits of walking plateaued, and anything more than that was great, but didn't necessarily lead to greater decrease in mortality rate.
In summary, if you're an avid walker, but walking 10,000 steps seems to be too daunting of a goal, aim for 7,500 steps per day instead. You might be surprised that even at a slightly lower number, your mood, your stamina, your overall mental health and your body will still feel better.