10,000 Steps a Day

I am sure you have all heard of the 10,000 step target that many people, fitness-fanatic or otherwise, swear by. But where did this number come from and is 10,000 steps a day effective?

The Origin of 10,000 Steps

The 10,000 step target was originally created as a marketing campaign for a Japanese pedometer, Yamasa Clock, in the 60s. The device being marketed was called “Manpo-kei” meaning “10,000 steps meter” and since then, the 10,000 step campaign has gained popularity across the world as a daily step target. So much so, that research has been conducted to investigate whether this number is indeed effective.

Is 10,000 Steps Effective?

There is no doubt that walking is great for your overall health – it is a low-impact exercise that is practical for most, suitable for several ages, contributes towards an active lifestyle, and can support health by improving our cardiovascular fitness.1

Studies have revealed that 10,000-step challenges improved the mental health and wellbeing of office workers, as well as supported the reduction in body weight and body mass index (BMI) in inactive, overweight individuals.2-4  Why this 10,000 step target may be so effective could  be attributed to the psychology behind fitness goals, as they provide daily motivation and encourage consistent physical activity.5,6

Reaching 10,000 Steps a Day

In the UK, it is recommended that adults complete at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week.7 On average, adults take 100 steps per minute8 when brisk walking, which means that walking 10 minutes every hour for 10 hours can help you achieve your 10,000 steps! Not too difficult right?

Using pedometers or other fitness monitors can also get you motivated and help you achieve your 10,000 steps every day, allowing you to reach your goals! If you’re not yet reaching 10,000 steps a day, don’t worry! Set yourself the challenge to beat your previous days step count and the steps will slowly increase.


Walking is a great form of physical activity, and the positive results from studies assessing the effectiveness of 10,000 step challenges are a great indication that these step targets may be beneficial for those who are less active and want to increase their physical activity, as well as improve their overall health.

Love Your Gut

For further information about how exercise can help you Love Your Gut see here 



  1. Lee and Buchner. (2008) Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 40(7 Suppl):S512-8.
  2. Hallman, Bilsborough and Courten. (2018) BMC Psychiatry, 18(1):19.
  3. Shneider et al. (2006) American Journal of Health Promotion, 21(2):85-89
  4. (2016) Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy, 20(4): 367-373.
  5. Pal et al. (2009) BMC Public Health, 9: 309.
  6. Sullivan and Lachman. (2016) Frontiers in Public Health, 4: 289.
  7. Department of Health and Social Care (2020) Physical activity guidelines: UK Chief Medical Officers’ report. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/physical-activity-guidelines-uk-chief-medical-officers-report (Accessed: June 2021).
  8. Tudor-Locke et al. (2019) International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-019-0769-6.