How Many Steps a Day Should We Take?
Walking is a low-cost physical activity that is very beneficial to the health of the heart and muscles. With our busy schedules, it can be hard to know if we walk enough every day. How many steps a day should we take to stay in shape or lose weight?
According to an American study, we should take between 7 000 and 8 000 steps a day to stay in shape. When taking a walk, we all walk at a pace of roughly 1 000 steps per 10 minutes. In other words, we should aim for a little over one hour of walking per day.
In the case of a weight loss objective, reaching 10 000 to 12 000 steps per day on a prolonged period would be ideal to reach your objective. For a significant energy expenditure, aim for 3 000 to 6 000 extra steps per day, or between 30 and 60 minutes of walking on top of your daily activities.
But before raising any alarm bells, it can be useful to know how many steps you are already taking.
Two tools are often used to count the amount of steps taken in a day. The first is the pedometer, with varying degrees of reliability depending on models, which gives a global appreciation of the amount of daily steps.
The second is the accelerometer, often a little more expensive and precise. This tool is becoming more and more a practical indicator for calculating daily energy expenditure.
Both of these tools can be useful to know your pace and the amount of steps you take every day. That way, you can know if you need to walk a little more during your day.
How can I reach my daily steps objective?
If you are scared by the amount of walking time required to reach your objective, integrate 1 000 extra steps per day, so about 10 minutes of walking, every week to reach your objective. At the end of the week, you will have walked 7 000 extra steps than usual, and therefore spent more calories!
By Christophe Alarie
Tudor-Locke et al. How many steps/day are enough? For adults. International Journal of Behaviour of Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2011; 8: 79.