10,000 Steps

Should You Walk 10,000 Steps Per Day for Weight Loss?

Question: I've heard that we should walk 10,000 steps per day for fitness and weight loss. How did they come up with this 10,000 steps per day number? Is this a fitness myth, or is there any research that shows that it works?

Answer: Walking 10,000 steps per day for health and weight loss was popularized originally in Japan. As Dr. Catrine Tudor-Locke explains in her book Manpo-Kei: The Art and Science of Step Counting, the original figure did not seem to come from any medical research. Several researchers have been playing catch-up on this, including Tudor-Locke and Dr. James O. Hill, author of The Step Diet.

10,000 Steps Per Day Matches Exercise Recommendations.

For most people, 10,000 steps per day is around five miles worth of walking during the day. Unless you have an active job such as a waitress or nurse, it would be difficult to log that by just daily activity. Most people achieve it by one or more sustained walks or runs, equivalent to 30-60 minutes or more of walking per day. That equals the minimum daily exercise recommendation by the CDC.

If You Continue to Gain Weight, Add More Steps. If you are already logging 10,000 steps a day and gaining weight or not losing weight, then the key is to add another 2,000 steps per day (and/or eat fewer calories). If that still doesn't work after a couple of weeks, add more steps or eat less. This is explained in Dr. Hill's The Step Diet book. Each 2,000-2,500 steps is about a mile, or 100 calories for a 150-pound person.