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How Many Steps Should You Walk Per Day?

Last updated May 2, 2016

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

Walking 10,000 steps a day may not lead to a great deal of weight loss, but can impact your health. To lose weight, it is recommended to also combine exercise with improving your diet.


Recently, monitoring how many steps you take each day has become a popular way to keep track of personal fitness. Anyone who takes at least 10,000 steps a day can be considered active according to a study published in the New Zealand journal Sports Medicine. The health benefits of walking 10,000 steps a day include reduced risk of heart disease, improved blood pressure, reduced risk of diabetes, reduced risk of breast and colon cancer, improved cholesterol, and increased mental wellbeing.

However, it is important to realize that 10,000 steps a day may not lead to a great deal of weight loss on its own, though it can have a big impact on your health. To lose weight, increasing your amount of daily exercise must be combined with improving your diet.

In order to measure how much you walk a day, you can use a pedometer to measure your steps. If your current physical fitness level is low, don’t try exercising too much right away. Determine what your current fitness level is, and make weekly goals to increase your daily steps. By improving slowly, you can prevent from injuring yourself and make attaining your fitness goals more realistic.

It can be difficult to begin a new exercise program, so some suggestions for increasing your daily steps are - to get a walking partner, walk to and from the bus to work, eat locally and walk to lunch, take planned daily walks, take a pet for longer daily walks, make walking fun by listening to music, and plan walking trips at fun locations like the zoo.

References and Information Sources used for the Article:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14715035 (accessed on November 26, 2014)

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2014/05/21/why-10-000-steps-a-day-wont-make-you-thin (accessed on November 26, 2014)

http://www.startwalkingnow.org/whystart_benefits_walking.jsp (accessed on November 26, 2014)

http://www.livescience.com/43956-walking-10000-steps-healthy.html (accessed on November 26, 2014)

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33154510 (accessed on November 26, 2014)

Tudor-Locke, C., & Bassett Jr, D. R. (2004). How many steps/day are enough?. Sports medicine, 34(1), 1-8.

Bohannon, R. W. (2007). Number of pedometer-assessed steps taken per day by adults: a descriptive meta-analysis. Physical Therapy, 87(12), 1642-1650.

Tudor-Locke, C. (2002). Taking Steps toward Increased Physical Activity: Using Pedometers To Measure and Motivate. President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Research Digest.

Consolvo, S., Everitt, K., Smith, I., & Landay, J. A. (2006, April). Design requirements for technologies that encourage physical activity. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human Factors in computing systems (pp. 457-466). ACM.

Hall, K. S., & McAuley, E. (2010). Individual, social environmental and physical environmental barriers to achieving 10 000 steps per day among older women. Health education research, cyq019.

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: May 2, 2016
Last updated: May 2, 2016