WHY 10,000 STEPS???
By now the idea of taking 10,000 steps every day has been ingrained in our minds. I, for one, am almost obsessed with reaching the magic number. I check my monitor about every 3 second to see if I’ve progressed any farther toward the magic number. But, just why 10,000 and not 9,250 or 11,310 steps. Is there some scientific evidence that has given us this cult like number? I have always assumed that someplace like Harvard or Stanford Medical Centers had done some basic research and arrived at the exact number of steps that we needed. FitBit, Apple watch, fitness trainers and all of the others then incorporated this research into their spiel. They added a “fashion” piece to wear and off we go!
Then I came across an article by Claudia Hammond on BBC.com which blew away my thinking. The idea of 10,000 steps was developed for a marketing campaign shortly before the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. Turns out that a Japanese company had developed a pedometer called the Manko-pei. Man means 10,000, po is steps and kei is meter. The campaign worked, the pedometer was a success and the 10,000 steps thought process was born, You can find the full article here: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190723-10000-steps-a-day-the-right-amount. There was some research comparing 10,000 steps to 5,000 steps but nothing in between. Recently a group at Harvard Medical Center studied more than 16,000 women in their seventies who for a week wore a monitor that looked at their movement during waking hours. They then compared the number of steps taken daily with the likelihood of dying from any cause. After a bit more than 4 years, 504 women had died. The average number of steps taken for those still living? Not 10,000 but 5,500! One of the findings was that “women who took more than 4,000 steps a day were significantly more likely to be alive than those who only took 2,700 steps each day”. Additional information on the study can be found here https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/10000-steps-a-day-or-fewer-2019071117305 and here https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/fitness-rethink-daily-10000-step-harvard-study.
HAVE YOU JUMPED ON THIS METHOD OF FITNESS TOO? WHEN DID YOU FIRST HEAR ABOUT NEEDING 10K STEPS A DAY? WHAT TRACKER DO YOU USE?