Nugget of Knowledge: 10,000 steps a day

Daybreak

Where did that 10,000 number come from and is it the magic number of steps per day?

(WYTV) – We know that walking is good for our health, but is there anything magic about taking 10,000 steps a day — about five miles?

That 10,000 number came from Japan and the run up to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. For the Olympics, a Japanese company was selling a pedometer called “manpo-kei” — literally a “10,000 steps meter.”

Why 10,000? It was easy to measure and easy to remember.

Most of us walk 3,000 to 4,000 steps daily. The Amish walk up to 18,000!

But a Harvard Medical School study just last year measured the steps of almost 17,000 older women and found the benefits tapered off before 10,000 steps. The women reached the most benefits at around 7,500 steps per day. More than that made little difference for their long-term health.

Instead of measuring steps, trying going for time — 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. That’s a half-hour of brisk walking five days a week.

One other point about walking — why do we swing our arms out of sync with our legs when we walk?

It doesn’t help keep us stable, although it will help keep you balanced if you lose your footing.

No, we swing our arms while walking because it takes more work to keep them still. Try walking with your hands at your sides. It will take more energy to propel you forward.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending on WYTV.com