UW doctor says you might not need 10,000 daily steps

Oct 9, 2021, 7:12 PM | Updated: Oct 11, 2021, 10:22 am
Pedestrians cross the street in Seattle. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

Recent research indicates 10,000 daily steps may not be the ultimate benchmark for health after all.

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Dr. Cindy Lin with UW Medicine agrees with two recent studies that support about 7,000 daily steps as being the sweet spot for better health — not the 10,000 usually quoted.

“There used to be this notion of 10,000 steps a day and a lot of people have heard about that. It turns out that was actually from one of the earliest makers of a pedometer, or step counter, that they used it as a marketing strategy,” Lin said.

Dr. Lin is a clinical associate professor in sports medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

The new research finds a lower risk of premature death for both men and women who took at least 7,000 steps a day, which is a bit more than 3 miles for the average adult.

“As long as you’re logging 7,000 steps, studies have shown you’re decreasing your risk of early death,” Lin said.

Why humans evolved to hate exercise and love sweets

If you were to increase your daily steps from 3,000 to 4,000 or 5,000, that has also shown to have lasting health benefits. In addition, “peeling away from your last Zoom meeting,” as the UW news release puts it, for a 15-minute walk has been shown to decrease blood sugar levels.

The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report.

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UW doctor says you might not need 10,000 daily steps