With fitness wearables on the rise, many people these days like to keep up with their daily step count. 10,000 steps a day seems to be the most common goal, but how many steps do we really need to take each day to maintain optimal health and wellbeing?
A 2011 research study showed that healthy adults can take anywhere between 4,000 and 18,000 steps each day and that 10,000 steps is a sensible target.
However, new research suggests that only 8,200 steps per day (around four miles) is enough to help prevent common health problems such as sleep apnoea, heartburn, reflux, obesity, and depression.
Having said that, the study also showed that the risk for many health problems continued to decrease as the number of daily steps went up past the 8,200 mark.
While there is no exact science behind the 10,000 mark, research DOES show that walking four miles+ each day can be very beneficial for physical and mental health.
Some easy ways to incorporate more walking into your day are to do several mini walks if you don’t have time to do all your steps in one go, take the stairs, suggest walking meetings to your colleagues, and do catch-up walks with friends.