There's something you probably didn't know about the '10,000' steps goal...

Ten Thousand steps per day is universally recognised as the target to hit if you want to be active throughout the day and get your steps in. 

But why Ten Thousand?

You might be surprised to hear that the original reason for Ten thousand steps didn’t come from research on health and fitness, but from a marketing campaign done before the 1964 Olympics.

The magic number “10,000” dates back to a marketing campaign conducted shortly before the start of the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. A company began selling a pedometer called the Manpo-kei: “man” meaning 10,000, “po” meaning steps and “kei” meaning meter. It was hugely successful, and the number seems to have stuck. Source BBC Future

So, does that mean that everyone’s favourite steps number is actually useless?

Not so fast. 

If you’d like to stay in shape but can’t get to the gym, you can train from home in our online coaching Habi-fit from Home program.


While research may not have been done on the benefits of Ten thousand steps when the number was originally invented for the pedometer, research has been done since. 

One of the biggest issues people have with the Ten thousand steps number is that it can be difficult to hit. 

If you have a desk job and aren’t particularly active outside of that, you could be left wondering how you would EVER hit that target. 

This can leave people feeling disheartened and end up giving up and not trying to do ANY steps outside of their daily routine. 

Here’s the thing that you need to know;

The whole point of trying to hit your daily steps is to make you aware of your inactivity. 

This is especially important in today’s technology driven society where people are moving from desk jobs to either Netflix or gaming and aren’t being active at all.

If you are currently doing less than two thousand steps per day, you need to start moving. 

The current research does show that moving more and being more active WILL improve your health, it will also help you to you will burn more calories, you will live longer, you will have better moods and sleep. 

All this starts to improve from just 5500 steps per day and then the benefits increase as your steps increase. 

The actual magic number to aim for when trying to be active is just 7500 steps. 

This was shown to be where the benefits for life expectancy topped out and everything else after this tended to plateau. 

But for the other benefits, like calories expenditure, more tends to do better. 

If you can’t do more, then adding in hills for more resistance will increase the benefits while doing the same amount. 

The main take home message is this;

If the Ten Thousand steps per day target disheartens you, aim for less. 

Start small and build up your step count as your fitness improves and you start to see the benefits being more active can bring. 

Set the target that is right for you now, not what your watch says it should be.

If you’d like to stay in shape but can’t get to the gym, you can train from home in our online coaching Habi-fit from Home program.
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