Not 10,000, But Here’s How Many Steps You Need To Walk Every Day To Stay Healthy!

If you’re big on walking to maintain a healthy lifestyle, someone must’ve already thrown the 10,000 steps a day number at you. If not for someone, you could’ve gotten familiar with this number through some random article on the web, a post on social media, or even by some so-called influencer.

The words 10,000 steps a day feels so authentic and good to hear that nobody questions it. Every time a person tries to question it with someone “Why not less or more than 10,000 steps a day to stay fit”, they’re dealt with the answer – Because that’s what those ‘science guys’ found out in a study.

Let’s get it clear right off the bat. There was absolutely no proper study done on the minimum number of steps should an individual walk to stay fit. It was basically a magic number. 10,000 – It just feels so good to hear such rounded-off figures. Therefore, nobody questions it much.

So, where did this number come from? Well, the answer is very strange and astonishing. It all started with the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. To know more and find out how many steps should you really walk every day to stay fit, keep on reading.



When the 1964 Olympic Games were getting ready to host in Tokyo, the Japanese government was fighting the obesity epidemic. They were eagerly searching for a solution to such a big problem and came up with an unconventional idea. The government used the Games of the Olympiad as an opportunity to get the people of their country in shape.

The Japanese government commenced a campaign to spread awareness about the fact that working out regularly was a good way to fight against dangerous diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and strokes.

Since everyone couldn’t go to the gym and use special machines, walking was the best option the Japanese government could give its people as the solution to fight obesity. It needed no fancy pieces of equipment or coaching, for that matter.

During the same time frame, a step counter machine called a pedometer was introduced in the Japanese market and it sold out like hot pancakes. Just like that, walking became the newest trend in Japan, and Manpo-Kei became the sort of ‘battle cry’ for walking enthusiasts. It literally means 10,000 steps.

Due to the rising popularity of Manpo-Kei, word got around the globe, and 10,000 became a go-to number for fitness lovers to walk daily to stay safe and healthy.

The Ghent University 10,000 Steps Study

During 2005-06, a total of 866 people participated in a study to find out if 10,000 was actually a scientific number or just a magical one. However, the study wasn’t very conclusive. Neither, it had received closure.

Only 50% of the participants completed the study. They had 10,000 steps walking regime. In the end, they were in better health and felt confident about themselves. About four years later, a follow-up study was done to find out if 10,000 steps a day to fight obesity were still legit or not.

Should You Really Walk 10,000 Steps A Day?

Benefits of Walking Everyday

Around 200 out of the 866 participants, were still actively walking daily. However, they weren’t walking close to 10,000 steps a day. The number they were walking was somewhere between 4,000-6000 steps a day. And that led the researchers of the study to conclude that walking 10,000 steps a day means nothing if you don’t walk that many steps regularly.

If someone can walk around at least 4,000-5,000 steps daily but regularly, he/she will stay healthier than someone who walks 10,000 occasionally.

Nevertheless, one thing the researchers found out special about walking 10,000 steps a day is that if you surpass that number that could be dangerous for your overall health. More isn’t always better.

A Few Benefits of Walking

Walking regularly not only helps you fight obesity but also has multiple advantages. Take a look below –

  • Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, and type 2 diabetes
  • Improve cardiovascular fitness
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Improve muscle endurance
  • Increase energy levels
  • Improve your mood, cognition, memory, and sleep
  • Improve your balance and coordination
  • Strengthen immune system
  • Reduce stress and tension

Also Read: 10 Most Searched Fitness Questions On The Internet, Answered

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