Benefits of walking – Why 10,000 steps is recommended for improving your health
By Maya Lightfoot, PSP Ottawa Health Promotion –
Have you ever wondered where the “10,000 steps” became the bench mark of walking goals?
“The origins of the 10,000-steps recommendation aren’t exactly scientific. Pedometers sold in Japan in the 1960s were marketed under the name “manpo-kei,” which translates to “10,000 steps meter,” said Catrine Tudor-Locke, director of the Walking Behavior Laboratory at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La. “The idea resonated with people, and gained popularity with Japanese walking groups. Studies conducted since then suggest that people who increased their walking to 10,000 steps daily experience health benefits.”
Let’s just make one thing clear: Walking more – or increasing your activity throughout the day, absolutely has positive health benefits. Many studies have shown that walking more has a whole host of positive health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, personal growth, and many other variables that contribute towards healthy living. Additionally, the American Heart Association notes that a brisk walk can lower risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes if performed and maintained over time. The Mayo Clinic recommends that people using pedometers, first set short-term goals, such as taking an extra 1,000 steps daily for one week, and then build up to a long-term goal such as 10,000 steps.
These are the main goals of the Ottawa Health Promotion Pedometer Challenge. We encourage everyone to be more active. Moving more is important, as well as all the mental and physical health benefits that will come from the consistency of walking more every day in May. The hope is also that, due to the consistency, that habit of walking more becomes part of your new every-day active lifestyle. Not only will you feel better, this challenge will also bring team spirit and more fun in the workplace. Nothing wrong with a little “healthy competition”…
Join the Ottawa Health Promotion Pedometer Challenge if you haven’t already. Step into spring on the right foot!
This post is also available in: Français (French)