If I asked you how many steps a day you should take to be healthy, 10,000 would probably be your answer.
I don’t blame you for thinking this. Somehow 10,000 steps a day for health and longevity has been drilled into our heads.
Even google says so!
It turns out, the number “10,000” is actually pretty arbitrary.
It’s based off a myth that originated from a Japanese device called the “Manpo-kei” which literally translates to “10,000 steps meter”
It was basically an old-school pedometer, and “10,000 steps” was part of its wildly successful marketing campaign.
So successful, that many STILL swear by the “10,000 steps per day” the company recommended.
But it’s nonsense.
(Ahem, looks like Google’s fact-checker missed that one.)
That said, there IS a target step-count that we should aim to take every day.
And it DOES increase life expectancy.
According to new research out of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, that target is closer to 7,000.
Specifically, their study found walking at least 7,000 steps a day reduced middle-aged people’s risk of premature death from all causes by 50% to 70%, compared to that of other middle-aged people who took fewer daily steps. [R]
While there is no harm in overshooting this, there is no significant increase in life expectancy.
This is good news for guys who can’t seem to hit the 10,000.
However, for those who have desk jobs or work from home, even 7,000 is pushing it.
Getting a few thousand extra steps is more attainable than you think.
Here’s a few simple tips you can implement right away:
1 – Track Your Steps
Most newer smartphones have a native “health” app that automatically records your steps.
Otherwise, there are many third-party apps that will do the same thing.
This alone will have you walking back and forth and subconsciously aiming to meet your target.
2 – If you drive, park farther away than you need to.
If you do this at work, make sure to arrive a little early.
3 – Turn short drives into walks.
If your breakfast diner is close enough, consider taking a morning walk instead of going straight for the car keys.
4 – Take a water or bathroom break at least every hour.
This one kills two or three birds with one stone, so why not?
As you can see, none of these tips are complicated or hard to perform…but together could help you live substantially longer.