Posted on Jul 26, 2022 33
How many steps does everyone need to take a day? It is believed that walking 10,000 steps a day is important for good health. However, a new study shows that the path to health is much shorter.
Where did such a clear-cut fitness minimum come from?
Most likely, the magic number originated back in the 1960s. A Japanese company on the eve of the Olympic Games in Tokyo promoted a pedometer with the name “10,000 steps”.
With the light hand of marketers there was a myth that it is important to take the same number of steps every day to remind the internal systems that regulate metabolism and energy, that you are full of strength, and therefore, to think about old age is too early.
And it worked! The Japanese immediately bought the fashionable device. However, there was no solid scientific evidence about the health benefits of a certain number of steps.
How many steps a day to walk
Researchers from Arizona State University questioned the validity of this number (10 000 steps), because much depends on the age and health of the person. They estimated that the average U.S. resident takes about 3,000 steps a day. For health, they believe this is not enough.
However, 10,000 steps may also be too many, say the Harvard Medical School staff. They conducted their own study. 16,741 women aged 62 to 101 years took part in the experiment (average - 72 years). Each lady wore a pedometer.
After 4 years, the scientists summed up the results, considering various factors: age, smoking, alcohol consumption, overweight, diet, hereditary predisposition to cancer and heart disease, etc. (504 people did not survive to the end of the experiment).
According to scientists, the highest mortality was observed among those who took less than 2.7 thousand steps a day. This indicator was almost halved among women who walked only 4.4 thousand steps a day. Those who took 7,500 steps each day had a higher score.
But for those who walked over 7,500 steps daily, the difference in health was almost imperceptible. Anything more than that distance was no longer of benefit, turning out to be an excessive physical strain.
Move more: Why working in an office is better than working at home
Scientists have proven repeatedly that people who lead sedentary lifestyles are far more likely to suffer from diabetes, heart disease and other dangerous life-shortening health problems. But it’s not that simple.
The staff at Columbia University Irving Medical Center says that sitting at home for many hours is much more dangerous than working in an office chair.
For 9 years, scientists observed the daily routine of 3,592 Americans who were already prone to high risk of type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. They found: Those who watched TV for over 4 hours a day increased their risk of these diseases by 50% compared to those who spent less than 2 hours watching TV shows.
Office work, however, was found to increase this risk only slightly. “Typically, people watch TV for hours without moving, and they eat foods that are not very healthy. Whereas office workers often have to get up from their desks to, for example, pick up papers from the printer, take documents to the supervisor to sign, get hot water in the cooler for tea, coffee, etc.,” suggests lead researcher Keith Diaz.
He also added: “You don’t have to work out to the point of exhaustion in the evenings at the gym to reduce your chances of facing dangerous ailments. Just do a little exercise in the morning and go for a short walk regularly at lunchtime”.
How to Force Yourself to Walk
Having a hard time making yourself get outside? Listen to our tips and then you’ll easily make it a norm of steps per day.
1. Get a dog. Then you will be forced to walk it every day.
2. Wear headphones. Having trouble walking aimlessly down the same path? Change in your routes and listen to your favorite music, making your walks more enjoyable.
3. Take the whole family out for a walk. A great way for everyone close to you to spend some healthy time.
4. Get up from your chair. In the office, get up from your chair more often to walk to the printer in the hallway or walk up to a colleague to clarify work information. And make it a habit to go for a walk at lunchtime.
5. Take advantage of any spare moment you have. For example, instead of sitting in the airport lounge, take a walk around the airport before your flight is announced.
6. Forgo the elevator. Take the stairs to the right floor. Try to walk at least 2 or 3 flights to begin with.
What conclusion can be drawn from all this text? Scientists have given us the kindness not to strive for the coveted 10 thousand steps: from 4 to 7.5 thousand - is also good!