If you buy a smart pedometer or fitness tracker like a Fitbit, possibilities are the gadget will motivate you to take 10,000 steps a day. But do you actually have to walk this much to be healthy?
Experts say that while 10,000 actions a day is a good number to reach, any quantity of steps beyond what you're presently doing will likely benefit your health.
The origins of the 10,000-steps recommendation aren't exactly clinical. Pedometers offered in Japan in the 1960s were marketed under the name "manpo-kei," which equates to "10,000 steps meter," stated Catrine Tudor-Locke, director of the Strolling Behavior Laboratory at Pennington Biomedical Proving ground in Baton Rouge, La.
The idea resonated with people, and acquired popularity with Japanese walking groups, Tudor-Locke said.
Research studies conducted since then suggest that individuals who increased their walking to 10,000 steps daily experience health advantages.
One research study found that women who increased their average amount of walking to almost 10,000 steps a day minimized their high blood pressure after 24 weeks.
Another study of overweight ladies found that walking 10,000 steps a day improved their glucose levels.
Walking 10,000 steps a day is not an official recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Rather, the group suggests grownups participate in 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, such as brisk walking. To satisfy the CDC's recommendation, you need to walk about 7,000 to 8,000 steps a day, Tudor-Locke stated.
If you typically walk about 5,000 steps a day, getting in an additional 30-minute, vigorous walk into your day would take you to about 8,000 steps, Tudor-Locke said.
The average U.S. adult walks 5,900 steps daily, she said.
Still, there's no reason to stop at 8,000 steps if you can do more, Tudor-Locke said. "We do understand that more is better."
The Mayo Center suggests that individuals using pedometers initially set short-term goals, such as taking an extra 1,000 steps daily for one week, and after that develop to a long-lasting objective such as 10,000 average steps.
Tudor-Locke said that there's not a single technique to increase your step count, everyone has to find what works for them. The most essential thing is to increase your activity beyond what you were doing before.
Dr. Clay Marsh, primary development officer at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, agreed, and stated that people don't need to feel like they need to achieve 10,000 steps to be active.
" We just want people to get up, and start," Marsh informed Live Science in an interview in February. "Any quantity of activity that you can do today that you didn't do yesterday, you're most likely going to begin gaining from it."