Advice Column, Health, Recently


  • Parenting Hub
  • Category Advice Column, Health, Recently

Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality healthcare, explores the benefits that 10,000 daily steps have on your health and well-being.

You’ve probably heard the hype about walking 10,000 steps daily, but do you know why?

The habit of tracking steps has grown in popularity over the last decade. People track to improve their fitness or compete with their friends or coworkers. The current advice is to walk 10,000 steps per day – but why?

Interestingly, while this “recommendation” was not initially supported by science, science demonstrates compelling reasons why 10,000 steps per day is a good goal.

What’s The Meaning Of A Number?

The magical number 10,000 steps originated in a Japanese marketing campaign in 1965 when a Japanese health science professor invented a pedometer and believed that walking 10,000 steps per day would prevent obesity in the Japanese population.

The pedometer was named Manpo-Kei, which translates to “10,000-step-metre”. Since then, the 10,000-step recommendation has stuck.

How To Get 10,000 Steps Into Your Day

If 10,000 steps seem daunting, we have good news: you can begin with fewer steps and reap significant benefits. Even minor efforts to move more throughout the day can have substantial benefits.

Research shows that doing anything other than sitting for 30 minutes daily (walking, yoga, skipping, stretching, etc.) reduces the risk of premature death by 17%. Higher-intensity exercise reaps even more significant benefits, reducing the risk of early death by 35%.

“Millions of South Africans have been working from home since COVID-19 began. That is why it is more important than ever to get out of the house and walk to improve your health,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.

“Start by tracking your average steps for a week or two if you’re new to tracking steps. Then set a goal to go above and beyond your average step count. Trying to reach 10,000 steps is a great goal, but if you are getting discouraged, consider re-accessing your goal. Get out and move more than you did yesterday.”

Health Advantages Of Walking 10,000 Steps Per Day

Promotes Weight Loss

Walking 10,000 steps per day equals about 8 kilometres. You could burn roughly 150 more calories daily if you added 30 minutes of brisk walking to your daily routine. Of course, the more calories you burn, the more you walk, and the faster you walk.

It Helps Clear The Mind

According to a Stanford University study, walking opens the mind and promotes the flow of ideas. It sparks creativity and aids in the improvement of concentration.

Enhances Sleep

Taking more steps during the day may be sufficient to improve our sleep. A new study published in the journal Sleep Health examined healthy adults who slept an average of 7 hours per night. Participants were divided into two groups: the Intervention group, instructed to increase their daily steps by at least 2,000, and the Control group, which was not.

Fitbits were given to both groups to track their daily steps. The researchers compared the responses of the two groups to sleep questionnaires, including how long they slept and the quality of their sleep. Overall, the walking intervention resulted in significantly better sleep.

Reduces Anxiety And Depression 

Some studies say a quick 10-minute walk can help lift a depressed mood. Regular exercise can help with depression and anxiety by doing the following: Endorphins, natural brain chemicals (endogenous cannabinoids), and other natural brain chemicals that can improve your mood, taking your mind off your worries to break the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression and anxiety.

Lowers Blood Pressure

A healthy heart can pump more blood while exerting less effort. Increasing your physical activity can reduce your systolic blood pressure by 4 to 9 points on average.

Stabilises Blood Glucose 

Walking causes the muscles to use more glucose, lowering blood sugar levels over time. This can make you more insulin sensitive. In fact, according to a study published in Diabetes Care, three short 15-minute walks per day are just as effective as one long 45-minute walk at the same pace in lowering blood sugar levels. According to the same study, taking a short walk after your evening meal helps regulates your blood sugar levels.

Reduces The Likelihood Of Having A Heart Attack

Numerous studies have shown that walking has health benefits related to cardiovascular disease. A sedentary lifestyle is one of the five major risk factors for cardiovascular disease (high blood pressure, abnormal blood lipid values, smoking, and obesity).

Studies show that lowering these risk factors reduces the likelihood of having a heart attack or another cardiac event, such as a stroke, and the need for a coronary revascularisation procedure (bypass surgery or coronary angioplasty).

Strengthens Your Lungs

Everyday movement helps to strengthen your lungs and surrounding muscles. Your body’s ability to use oxygen efficiently increases as the rate and volume of oxygen you inhale (a measurement known as your “VO2 max“). The fitter you become, the higher your VO2 max.

Strengthens Your Bones

Physical activity (especially weight-bearing exercises) strengthens your bones, which improves their density and reduces your risk of osteoporosis later in life.


Keeping track of how many steps you take, how far you walk, and the time it takes can help you see where you started and what is possible. Consider how good it will feel to see how many steps you’ve walked each week, month, and year. Use an activity tracker, app, or pedometer to calculate steps and distance. Alternatively, keep track of these figures in a walking journal.

“Walking – no matter the distance – can benefit both physical and mental health. Whatever method you use to incorporate walking into your daily routine, you will most likely notice some benefit that will accumulate over time,” concludes Hewlett.

About the author

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.