=== (AGENDAWATCHDOG) === Rather than the 10,000 steps often recommended, walking just 4,400 steps a day may be enough to protect against serious illnesses, researchers have claimed.
A review into the benefits of various levels of physical activity by an expert from the University of Hertfordshire found that the classic goal might be overkill.
Physical activity can help to reduce you risk of developing chronic illnesses like dementia and certain cancers, and can improve conditions like type 2 diabetes.
It takes the average person around two hours of walking a day to reach the 10,000 step goal — but only around 53 minutes to reach 4,400 steps.
In a piece on The Conversation, exercise and health physiology expert Lindsay Bottoms of the University of Hertfordshire explored recent research into the actual merits of the 10,000 steps goal — which had its origins in a marketing campaign.
‘The 10,000-steps-a-day target seems to have come about from a trade name pedometer sold in 1965 by Yamasa Clock in Japan,’ Dr Bottoms wrote.
‘The device was called “Manpo-kei”, which translates to “10,000 steps meter”. This was a marketing tool for the device and has seemed to have stuck across the world as the daily step target.’
‘It’s even included in daily activity targets by popular smartwatches, such as Fitbit.’
Walking 10,000 steps each day certainly is good for your health, Dr Bottoms explained — with studies showing that making this habit can improve both mental and physical health, as well as lower your risk of developing diabetes.
However, she noted, recent research from the Harvard Medical School has suggested that 10,000 steps might be overkill.
They found that, on average, taking 4,400 steps per day is enough to significantly lower risk of death in women as compared to only taking 2,700 steps daily.