If you know anyone who has a fitness tracker, chances are you see them checking it periodically to see if they have reached their target number of steps for the day. The fitness tracking gear industry has made millions off of the notion that we need to get in a specific number of steps in order to experience cardiovascular benefits. For years now we have all been told the importance of getting in at least 10,000 steps per day. In fact, many pedometers and fitness tracking devices are set to alert you to get in this specific amount. We’ve been advised to get moving and hit that magic number. But why? Have you ever wondered why 10,000 steps seem the be the end all be all? More significantly, is this actually true? The answers and emerging research may suggest otherwise.
The Origins of Numbered Steps
Did you know that the origins of 10,000 steps began in Japan in the 1960s? According to Live Science, pedometers were marketed to walkers as “10,000” Steps Meter. This number became recognizable among serious walkers and then made its way mainstream. After health studies confirmed that there are overall health benefits to getting in these many steps per day, it became part of our fitness culture. However, the Centers for Disease Control has never endorsed 10,000 steps as the official number for heart health.
New Info from Recent Studies
The New York Times just published a story on a study recently featured in The International Journal of Obesity. The study found that it was more like 15,000 steps per day that provided the keenest results for overall cardiovascular health. This study looked at postal workers in Glasgow and compared the health of those who delivered the mail by walking and those who did office work. BMI, cholesterol levels, sugar levels, and other measures of health were taken prior to the start of the study. Each participant used an advanced activity tracker to determine their activity levels throughout the day both at work and at home.
After recording data, researchers found that postal workers who spent time on their feet delivering mail were in significantly better health than their office counterparts who spent the vast majority of their days sitting at a desk. It appears as though there truly is no set standard of steps that must be taken each day to protect cardiovascular health but movement, in general, is highly desirable. You don’t have to set out on a multi-hour walk to get your steps in but taking walk and movement breaks throughout the day are things everyone can do. These little increments of time add up over the day and provide positive health benefits.
Weight Loss Programs in Melbourne and Merritt Island
If you are on a fitness journey and seeking to incorporate steps into your day, keep at it! While there are no definitive recommended numbers to aspire to, getting exercise into your day will always be worth the time and effort it takes. Don’t give up! The official recommendation from the CDC is that adults get in about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. Brisk walking certainly fits into this category but so do other forms of exercise that meet the criteria for moderate-intensity like jogging or easy dancing. The important thing is to find something that works for you and stick to it. If that’s 10,000 steps, great! If you shoot for 15,000, keep it up.
As always, Advanced Surgical and Weight Loss Institute in Melbourne, FL is here to help you with your weight loss story. Contact us today if you’re in Brevard County and let us help you succeed in the long term with our achievable weight loss programs.