The 10,000 Steps Myth, What's Truth About This Weight Loss Habit?

The idea of ​​walking 10,000 steps a day, equivalent to a distance of between 6 and 8 kilometers a day, has become a goal of popular fitness Worldwide.

Thomas Hirai, medical director of the Bariatric and Metabolic Health Center at O’Connor Hospital in San Jose, California, explains to Insider that the idea of walk 10,000 steps per day originated in 1965 when a Japanese company developed a pedometer called Manpo- kei, concept that precisely means meter of 10,000 steps.

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The 10,000 step goal was achieved because it was catchy, easy to remember, and above average daily steps for most people.“, explains Hirai. “It was a challenge, but manageable for many“.

The number of steps you walk per day is just one aspect of weight loss. This article details how to perform a track calories burned while walking and why 10,000 steps can help you reach your ideal weight, but don’t always guarantee it.

How many calories do 10,000 steps burn?

Most people burn 30-40 calories for every 1,000 steps of walking, which means they will burn between 300 and 400 calories walking 10,000 steps, Hirai says. However, this is only a rough estimate.

In other words, each step you take burns calories, but the exact amount depends on each individual case.

The calorie burning rate can be quite variableFactors such as weight, stride length and fitness level are involved, as well as the pace and incline of the area in which you are walking.

As a quick tip, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people get 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous exercise, including the option of walking.

For a more personal assessment of calorie burning, Hirai recommends using a measure called metabolic equivalent or MET. It is a metabolic unit to calculate the kilocalories you expend during an exercise.

Brisk walking – about 5 kilometers per hour – equates to about 3.5 METs, while walking uphill costs about 6 METs, Hirai said. To calculate the calories you burn with MET, use the following equation:

Energy expenditure (in kcal / min) = 0.0175 x MET x weight (in kg)

For example, a person weighing 68 kilograms and walking on a flat surface at a rate of 3 mph, using approximately 3.5 METs, would burn approximately 4 calories per minute. At 3 miles per hour, it would take about 100 minutes to walk 10,000 steps, burning about 400 calories.

Although today, many people use specialized applications or smart watches to calculate the number of steps and estimating your calorie burn, Hirai recommends checking those numbers with the equation above, which will allow each one to get a more accurate picture.

An important thing to remember is not to rely solely on these calculators, as you can overestimate or underestimate the calories you consume or burn.“, dice. “However, they are useful as they can help track your progression and provide consistency.“.

Although 10,000 steps a day is a good goal, Hirai says that the key to maintaining your ideal weight and leading a healthy lifestyle is to move constantly.

Can walking 10,000 steps a day help you reach your ideal weight?

To lose weight it is necessary burn more calories than you consume. Most people require a calorie deficit of about 500 calories per day to lose one pound a week.

Those looking to lose weight or maintain weight loss should practice at least 150 to 200 minutes of exercise per weekSo walking 10,000 steps a day can help you achieve those goals.

Note: Participants in a weight loss program who walked 10,000 steps per day were more likely to lose more weight than those who walked 3,500 steps per day, according to the findings of a study published in 2018.

Still, you’re more likely to lose weight if you also focus on a healthy eating plan, according to Hirai.

Weight loss through exercise becomes much more effective when combined with a supervised diet strategy“, he says.

Is it safe to walk 10,000 steps?

Walking is considered one of the easiest and safest ways to exercise. However, if you are not currently exercising, complete 10,000 steps a day could lead to injuryexplains this expert.

It’s helpful to increase your steps per day and stay as active as possible, but it’s just as important to prevent injury when embarking on your weight loss journey.“, Hirai adds.

People who are very overweight, elderly, or have other health problems should be particularly cautious. The key recommendation goes through gradually increase your steps rather than suddenly, with a goal of taking 1,000 extra steps per day each week until they reach their goal.

On the other hand, when people consistently achieve their goal of walking 10,000 steps a day, they can swapping walking for an activity with a higher MET, such as jogging or swimming, to increase calorie burning.

Scientific evidence reveals that increasing the number of steps per day can reduce all-cause mortality. But nevertheless, the benefit of more steps stabilizes at 7,500 steps per day; Beyond that, there is no added benefit of reaching 10,000, according to the findings of a study published in JAMA Network.


The advice to walk 10,000 steps a day stems from a curious marketing slogan, not science. However, the scientific community has shown that Increasing movement, which can be measured in the number of steps, is important for good health.

In general, adopt a active and healthy lifestyle it is the best way to achieve lasting weight loss. Challenging yourself to reach 10,000 steps can be part of the transformation, but cAny exercise routine that you do consistently is a good option.

Actually, there may not be a magic numberHirai concludes.

This article was published in Business Insider Spain by Andrea Núñez-Torrón Stock.

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