Research Articles – 10,000 Steps/Walking

The role of habitual physical activity in overall health for the elderly

It’s well understood and recommended that regular moderate-intensity physical activity for the elderly population (aged 65 and older) is one of the most important components of a healthy lifestyle, as it enhances life, prolongs independent living and reduces the risk of numerous chronic health disorders. Despite this widely publicized concept, many elders fail to exercise as regularly as they should, leaving them at a higher risk for health complications. To get a better understanding of exactly what types of physical activity patterns elders should be engaging in, and to evaluate what factors influence whether or not elders exercise regularly, a study was performed in an average-sized town not far from Tokyo, Japan. Gender, physical and mental health, and weather were all shown to be important factors that affect the likelihood of exercise for those in the elderly community.

How far off the mark?: The actual amount of steps the average adult takes daily

In an effort to get an idea of the exact number of steps American adults take on a daily basis and how distant from the 10,000 step goal suggested by many, a meta-analysis covering 42 studies and 6,199 subjects pooled data on various calculations for these statistics. Excluding cases where Amish accounted for some of the participants, as they walk exceedingly high numbers of steps daily, the average came out to 9,501 steps per day.

PEDOMETER ALERT! Many free and low-costing
models produce inaccurate step counts

For any and everyone who is considering an attempt at walking 10,000 steps per day and is planning on buying a pedometer (or who has already purchased one, suspiciously or not), unfortunate results from a British study prove that a disturbing number of pedometer models are actually inaccurate. Find out which ones are reliable and which are producing false impressions of your daily habits.

The inverse relationship between steps/day and obesity

Though common sense in nature that the amount of steps you walk and your health are connected, few studies have investigated the exact relationship between physical activity–which includes all forms of walking, whether intended for exercise or not–and measures of obesity. An Australian study surveyed over 1,000 Tasmanians on daily walking habits, as well as dietary trends and other lifestyle choices, in attempts to explain how walking and obesity are associated with each other.

The powerful presence of pedometers: A simple matter of wearing one

In order to increase your daily step count and work your way closer to the 10,000 steps goal prescribed for health maintenance and possible weight loss, it can be as simple a matter as wearing a pedometer. A study investigated the advantages of pedometer-wearing groups compared to a number of groups without the devices and came out with evidence that the tiny calculators are a motivational force in upping step counts.