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A Reality Check on 10000 Steps a Day

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Obsessed with completing 10000 steps a day?

Everywhere for a few years, there is a massive trend of fitness bands and digital trackers. Most of them work and encourage the user to track their steps throughout the day. The majority of them set as default on the 10000 steps goal per day. So, from there a normal person gets a general idea that 10000 steps are what it takes to maintain good health and fitness. 

With that thought, they try to achieve a target of 10000 steps a day. In this article, I am going to discuss all the questions that might come to your mind regarding the 10000 steps a day goal. 

I will cover queries like Do 10000 steps a day really help to maintain good health? Do 10,000 steps a day helps you losing weight? What will happen to your body if you walk 10000 steps a day? How many calories do 10,000 steps burn? 

Where From the Concept of 10000 Steps Emerged?

The name of 10000 steps first emerges as a Japanese concept known as Manpo-Kei In 1965. Manpo-Kei was made on the concept that 10000 steps a day are ideal for everyone to stay fit and healthy. Later In the year 2015, the Ministry of Health in Japan also favors 10000 steps per day. But, instead of on both events, there was no solid scientific evidence available to favor the statements. 

In Japan, this idea of Manpo-Kei is followed by the walking club and the individual walkers. That was the time when digital fitness bands also came into the markets of Japan. So, from there the concept spread throughout the world. Now, most of the walkers and people who are into fitness also believed in the idea of Manpo-Kei or 10000 steps a day.

A Questionable Approach to 10000 Steps a Day

Our body is not made on what is trending or what has a good market value. 10000 steps a day in my opinion is more of a marketable term rather than a health benefit. Here I am not denying the benefits of walking. But I am trying to explain how our body works.

Our body doesn’t know that you do a cardiovascular exercise, weight training or you are just walking around to achieve your goal of 10000 steps. What body knows is that you are exercising and working out in one way or another.

Let us clear the concept first and get a reality check before trying to achieve the 10000 steps goal. Research published in the University of Toronto and suggested that there is no doubt that 10000 steps would be great in maintaining the amount of daily activity a human body needs per day. But still, there are some things to get your eyes on such as: 

  • First of all, this number is not normally achievable by most individuals.
  • Most people will end up having 4k – 5k steps deficit. 
  • The amount of activity 10000 steps can give to the body, is achievable more easily and in lesser time with a proper workout routine.
  • A fitness band or pedometer doesn’t necessarily measure the exact energy expenditure.
  • Many people become obsessed with counting and achieving the goal of 10000 steps a day.
  • 10000 steps need a lot of walking to complete. This much physical activity may give rise to certain health problems. 

Frequently Asked Questions About 10000 Steps Routine


10000 steps are not the exact cut off value for weight loss. When it comes to weight loss any type of workout 30 minutes a day will be as effective as 10k steps a day.


Well, it will vary as per your weight, activity level, and how much time you can achieve it. On average you will be able to burn 400-500 calories with 10000 steps a day.


As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2000 steps are 1 mile and on average people usually walk 4k-5k steps a day. In short, if you cover 10000 steps a day you will cover approximately 5 miles.


Yes, There are studies published in the favor of 10k steps a day. For example: As per a study 10000 steps are effective in reducing blood pressure and increasing exercise capacity. But still, the positive and negative impacts of SPECIFICALLY 10k steps per day is controversial.

The Bottom Line

The whole idea of this article is to make you understand that the number of 10000 steps is not what matters when it comes to achieving your health and fitness goals, losing weight, or keeping yourself healthy. 

10000 steps are just a number. Everyone is different in terms of energy expenditure, stamina, and overall routine in the day. If you go for the exact number you might end up failing it. Instead using the easier approach will be beneficial.

There is no doubt that 10000 is a lot of physical activity, so definitely it will have all the benefits it is claiming. But the key point here is that it doesn’t matter if you are doing 10k steps a day or 30 minutes of activity of your choice. You will get the same results and benefits. 

Centers for Disease Control CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week for an average adult. Or high-intensity workout for 75 minutes per week. This will not only keeps you fit and healthy but also decrease the risks of diseases like heart issues, cancer, and/or diabetes.

In conclusion, walking is a great exercise and the easiest one as well to receive some physical activity. It also can be done without any equipment and anywhere. Try to take some physical activity daily or at least 5 days a week to stay fit and healthy. Forget worrying about completing 10000 steps a day, instead focus on achieving 150 minutes of moderate activity per week.


Dr. Riffat Humayun

I am a doctor by profession. Working as healthcare worker since 2015. With that also working as an experienced freelance writer, blogger, SEO expert, and content creator + strategist for a few years now. Position at loadedhealth.com - Author, content strategist, senior editor, SEO expert

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