It’s widely believed that taking 10,000 steps per day is the ideal benchmark for staying healthy and physically fit (the equivalent of walking five miles per day), but new research out of Scotland suggests you need to bump up it more. A lot more. Like, 5,000 steps more, or half as much again as the original number states. The International Journal of Obesity just published a new study this month, and we say, use it as inspiration to start or add to a spring walking walking program.
Remember, keeping up with step counts will only help keep you fit. What’s most important is making time for regular, challenging workouts. When you get in a daily workout, and hit the new benchmark for steps-per-day set by this study out of Scotland, you’ll be living one healthy, active life.
So What’s The New Ideal Steps-Per-Day Benchmark?
Contrary to the standard of 10,000 steps per day—which will be the number most often suggested when you Google, “How many steps should I walk per day?”— the researchers are now saying that 15,000 steps is the new magic number to shoot for.
Also on Z Living: Here Are All The Reasons You Should Start A Walking Program Stat!
How Did Researchers Hit On This New Number?
For the study, scientists recruited over 100 postal-service workers from the Glasgow area — men and women between the ages of 40 and 60. The group was split between walking mail carriers, and office workers who spend less time on their feet everyday, creating a curve for comparison.
They measured the volunteers’ cholesterol, blood sugar, waist sizes, and body mass indexes. Then, each volunteer wore an advanced activity tracker for one week. From the trackers, the researchers could determine how much time each participant spent sitting and walking each day.
The results were, as anyone with a basic understanding of fitness would expect, workers who sat more had a higher likelihood of developing heart disease, larger waistlines, etc. The New York Times points out that the results showed that any amount of standing and walking reduced a worker’s chances of having a large waistline and other risk factors for heart disease.
Here's the key finding: “The greatest benefits came from the most exaggerated amounts of activity. Those mail carriers who walked for more than three hours a day, covering at least 15,000 steps, which is about seven miles, generally had normal body mass indexes, waistlines and metabolic profiles. Together, these factors meant they had, effectively, no heightened risk for cardiac disease."
Also on Z Living: 5 Key Tips For Successful Workouts From 'Altar'd' Host Chris Marhefka
So, I Need To Walk A Minimum 15,000 Steps Per Day To Stay Healthy?
Not exactly. This is a study of 100 people in Scotland, and while it found that among those people the number of steps to avoid heart disease is closer to 15,000 than 10,000, it doesn’t make certain that you can't prevent risk by taking a number of daily steps that lands somewhere in the middle.
Also on Z Living: A Daily 20-Minute Walk Can Lead To Better Health; Here's Why
Why Not Be Safe And Shoot For 15,000 Steps Per Day Anyway?
The study does show that 15,000 steps is clearly healthier and a better preventative than 10,000, so why not shoot for that? If you don’t have the time, or attention span, than make sure you’re getting that physical stimulation elsewhere. Whether you up the ante to running, change it up with a swim, or keep things convenient with an at-home workout, just keep that heart pumping and working.
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