Do You Truly Need 10,000 Steps a Day ?

It is a popular belief that everyone should aim for 10,000 steps daily, and it is true that a goal of 10,000 steps per day is somewhat optimal for middle-aged healthy adults. However, depending on your circumstances, your optimal step count could be lower.

Recent studies suggest that aiming for a more personalized goal based on your circumstances makes total sense. And the truth is that any improvement in your average daily step count will improve your health and lower your risk of mortality. Once you reach 10,000 steps per day, however, the incremental improvement in health associated with step count somewhat levels off.

This American study titled “Steps per Day and All-Cause Mortality in Middle-aged Adults in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults” followed 2110 participants aged 38 to 50 years for approximately 10 years. It found a significantly lower risk of mortality in the moderate (7000-9999 steps/day) and high step groups (≥ 10,000 steps/day), compared to the low step group (< 7000 steps/day).

Participants taking at least 7,000 steps per day had approximately 50% to 70% lower risk of mortality than those taking fewer than 7,000 steps per day.

Fours Reasons You Should Track Your Steps

You should track your daily steps if you think you’re not as active as you should be, or if you have no idea how much you truly walk in a day in comparison to an objective of 7,000 to 10,000 steps.

Awareness of Your Step Count

How can you know you’re taking too few steps if you don’t measure it? Tracking your steps will make you aware of your baseline average steps per day.

Easy Way to Measure Step Count

When it comes to tracking your physical activity, counting steps is one of the easiest things to measure.

Cheap Way to Measure Step Count

Step trackers are cheap. Some charities and organizations with a social purpose even give them out for free at events.

Step Counting on Sports Watches

Practically all sports watches and smartwatches are equipped with a step counter.

Here are some easy to grab and relatively cheap step counters:

How to Set and Achieve Your Steps Goal

  1. The first step to setting your goal is to know how many steps a day you currently take per day, on average.
  2. From there, set yourself a goal and pick a date you want to achieve your goal by (why not pick a meaningful date, eg. the birth date of a child, a parent, or a dear friend). For example, your goal might be to walk 8,500 steps per day on average by the 4th of July.
  3. Work your way up. It takes time to create healthy habits. Come up with a schedule of goals. For instance, add an extra 1,000 steps per day in month 1, then add another 500 steps the following month, etc.

Ideas to Increase Your Daily Step Count

  • Go for a walk.
  • Park your car further away from the mall or any entrance door.
  • Order inside instead of using the drive-through.
  • Use a staircase instead of an elevator.
  • Offer to walk the neighbor’s dog once a week.
  • When offered a table at the restaurant, ask for the one at the back.

How to Increase Step Count in a Static Job?

There’s no doubt an office employee walks on average less than a waiter. So what are the tools out there to help you be more active when your job involves staying behind a desk?

Here are four tools your could consider:


There are tools out there to help you increase your step counts, and a lot of them are relatively inexpensive. It’s important to be active, and studies prove that there is a negative correlation between daily average steps and mortality. Use your fitness tracker to determine your average number of steps taken in a day and then work towards increasing them gradually. Happy stepping!

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