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Benefits of Walking 10 Thousand Steps a Day

Benefits of Walking 10 Thousand Steps a Day
Benefits of Walking 10 Thousand Steps a Day

Almost a decade ago, if you’d asked someone how many steps one should walk per day, you probably would have been stared at and gotten a confused look. things have changed, however. Ask almost anyone today, lifters or non-lifters, how many steps one should walk per day and the most common answer you’d get is: 10,000, everyone knows this.

 Have you ever wondered since when this became “common knowledge”? What do these 10,000 steps for the body and why are they so special? Is there are science behind this claim?

Before we start delving a bit deeper here, we need to make one thing absolutely clear, which is: the more you walk, or the more you increase your physical activity during the day, the more positive health benefits you will experience.

 One study has shown that increasing walking offers a multitude of health benefits, such as improved cardiovascular health, mental health and many other factors which contribute to an improved quality of living.

What’s more, the American Heart Association has concluded that a short walk in the park can decrease the risk of getting high blood pressure, increased cholesterol levels and can prevent the likelihood of developing diabetes if done consistently over time.

Read More: Scientific Approach to Muscle Growth

Even though everybody knows that it’s always a good idea to walk more, one of the main reasons urging people to move more, which is to lose weight/fat, is exactly the thing which can mislead people.

 It’s for this same reason that lots of fitness electronic gadgets have built their value as a tool to remind people that they need to lose weight. The majority of these have decided on 10,000 steps as the default goal one needs to strive to lose fat.

 Some even went as far as deeming 10,000 as some sort of a “magical number”. When one stops to think for a moment, one cannot help but wonder what’s so special about this number? Can walking 10,000 steps a day trigger some drastic changes in one’s body composition and help with weight/fat loss?


There may be several reasons why this number took hold in the minds of people in the fitness community and beyond. First of all, 10,000 is a psychologically satisfying number, it’s round and easy to remember. 

Second, in a kind of self-reinforcing cycle, it has benefited from becoming so popular and widely known that people automatically assume it’s a good benchmark to strive to for weight loss, otherwise, what’s all the fuss about?
If you want to lose fat/weight, you will need to burn more calories than you consume via your food. 

This is the basis of weight/fat loss and is known as “caloric deficit”. The general rule of thumb is that one pound of fat contains approximately 3,500 calories. So, if you are in a caloric deficit of 500 calories each day for 7 days, you would eat 3,500 calories less, which the exact amount needed to lose one pound per week.

It has been widely claimed that one is able to lose a pound of fat per week by walking 10,000 steps because that would be enough to burn 3,500 calories.

 However, this claim is a large over-generalization which can only be applied to a small minority of people, and unless you are carefully monitoring your caloric intake and expenditure, it most likely doesn’t apply to you.

 To understand this, it helps to understand the source of this claim. However, it is based on several not so accurate estimations, such as:


Any calculation of the number of calories you burn from running or walking is influenced by your weight. People with greater weight use more energy to move from one place to another than people with a smaller weight.

 The majority of rough estimates are around 100 calories burned per mile for a person weighing 180 lbs. If you’re heavier or lighter than this, you will burn more/ fewer calories while walking the same distance or the same number of steps.


Even if you do weigh 180 lbs, the calories you will burn from walking will still depend on the speed and intensity of your walk. The average walking speed is around 3 miles an hour, and according to the Mayo Clinic, the number of calories you will burn largely depends on the speed of your walk.

 For a person that weights 160lbs, a slow 30-minute walk at 2 miles per hour will burn around 100 calories, but a faster walk at 3.5 miles an hour will increase the burn by around 50% or 160 calories.

 You might ask why. It’s simple actually: the faster you walk the larger the distance you will cover in the same amount of time. Those who claim that you can burn 3,500 calories per week just by walking usually assume that you always walk at a faster pace to cover the necessary distance.

Read More: Walking speed can be a sign of your health at an older age