Is 10,000 steps the answer to good health?

In a generation where technology is the reason we are sitting more than standing, these same tech companies are selling tools to encourage us to move more. A great marketing team is behind the latest craze in fitness watches and activity trackers with sales increasing 110% over the last 12 months.

It’s great to see a nation which is struggling to control a chronic disease epidemic become concerned about the amount of movement we are doing. But is 10,000 steps the answer to increasing our fitness and improving our health?

The most important thing to understand with exercise is one size does not fit all and each individual is capable of and requires a different amount of exercise. In Australia 7 million people or one in three are currently diagnosed with at least one chronic health condition. These 7 million people all require different levels and intensities of exercise.

The number “10,000” steps has no real scientific background, and yes it is a great target to start with, but based on your health you need to set realistic goals. If you have no chronic health conditions and want to lose an amount of weight, you may need more than 10,000 steps to achieve your goal. However, if you have chronic arthritis and cannot walk 10,000 steps you may need other exercises such as swimming.

Other factors that influence our weight loss is the speed and intensity that these steps are taken at. To burn calories, you need to increase your heart rate, so 10,000 nice slow strolls to the printer and back all day might not be the solution to your weight loss. We also have to look at other factors such as diet.

Let’s get one thing straight, moving more absolutely has a great impact on our health. Wearable fitness trackers are a great tool in assessing our movement and I encourage everyone to get on board. However, be sure to seek advice on how much movement is right for you.

Happy stepping.