Why Getting 10,000 Steps A Day Isn’t Enough

10,000 Steps | Hari Kalymnios

You may have heard that you need to get 10,000 steps a day to be “healthy”. Well, here’s the truth. You could get 10,000 steps a day in by sitting around all day and then go for a 5 mile run. But…here’s the rub. That’s not the best way to do it.

Firstly, I suggest 12,000 steps a day. Sounds a lot, but let me tell you, it’s easy enough to achieve. Just move throughout the day. Got a question to ask of a colleague, walk over to them. A meeting a couple of floors away, take the stairs. Get off a stop earlier. Drink LOTS of water (most people don’t drink enough – 2litres min for most people but up to 4 also good. I’ll deal with the reasons in a future post) and then watch as you have to make a few more bathroom trips.

You might think it’s hard, but I work from home most days and still get those steps in. Even without often leaving the house. The point I want to make is this though. Those 12,000 (or 10,000) steps should be made throughout the day. Not at one point.

Think about this. Most people spend (let’s say) 8hrs in bed, 8hrs at their desk, 2hrs commuting (sitting or standing still), a couple of hours watching TV – that’s 20 hrs already. Truth be known, it’s not unusual for people to be sedentary almost their entire day. So if you think that by moving for one hour in the gym is enough, then think again.

Here’s the challenge I’m putting out to you. MOVE. And OFTEN. Find opportunities to move. Use a pedometer, fitbit or jawbone for a while to assess how much you are moving. You’d be surprised. Most people in London (especially if taking public transport) should find getting enough steps easy enough. The challenge becomes in the distribution of those steps.

My advice – never stay put for more than 25 minutes. And that includes standing – all those with standing desks. The body is designed to move – most of the time in fact, with intermittent rest. Use it like that and see how your energy levels and productivity levels increase.

What do you think?