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10,000 Steps a Day

10,000 steps a day? What does this mean

Daily exercising and physical fitness has become a common occurrence these days, partial due to the popularity of portable step counters. These pedometers are now affordable and wearable, which allows almost anyone to track their physical activity during the day. Most literature cites 10,000 steps/day as a good goal in order to stay physically fit, but why is this?

Numerous studies on the topic of pedometers have found that for the average adult 10,000 steps/day equates to moderate to vigorous exercise. Although 10,000 steps is a good goal to strive for, this number is not for everyone. For individuals categorized as having a sedentary lifestyle (<5,000 steps/day) this number can be daunting.  Remember that not every person has the same body type, lifestyle, or endurance to achieve 10,000 steps/day.

For anyone looking to start a daily walking program please keep in mind that cardiovascular endurance should be built up gradually to avoid injury and to allow time for the body to adapt. A good goal is to start by tracking your normal steps/day and over a 6-8 week period build up to 10,000 steps/day. For a more individualized exercise program talk to your Atlas Physical Therapist!

Lukas Mehling PT, DPT