Weight Loss

How Many Steps a Day You Should Take to Lose Weight?

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How Many Steps a Day You Should Take to Lose Weight?

Knowing how many steps a day you should take to lose weight is helpful not just for your physical appearance, but for your overall health as well. Experts conducted their study and they found that there is a certain range on the number of steps that you should follow to achieve the desirable results.


Why Walk?

It is easy to live a sedentary lifestyle nowadays because everything is within reach. You do not have to use the stairs when there is an elevator or escalator already.

You do not need to walk a couple of blocks when there is a car. Internet and videogames have also made leisure and sports easier in a way that you just have to control everything using your eyes and your fingers.

Through these video games, you can already ‘play’ the sport that you want.

Moreover, almost everyone thinks that they are busy. Getting to and from the office might be the only chance that you can walk or probably not at all. You might think that you can enjoy the benefits of walking by doing it for just two or five minutes.

However, in 2008, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued the first Physical Activity Guidelines. It aims to educate the Americans about the importance of types and quantity of physical activities to one’s health.

These guidelines define that an aerobic physical activity should have three components, which are: frequency, intensity, and duration.

Studies have shown that engaging in a physical activity at the right duration plays an important role not just in weight gain prevention but also in the prevention of common chronic diseases.


The Origin of the 10,000-Step Theory

If you look up on the Internet ‘how many steps a day you should take to lose weight,’ most results will give you 10,000 as the answer.

The popularity of the 10,000-step was due to the 1960s Japanese marketing slogan for pedometer that translates as “10,000 steps meter.” However, how sure are you that the number is accurate?


The Accuracy of the Theory

Catrine Tudor-Locke, director and scientist at the Walking Research Laboratory located at the Arizona State University (ASU), studied the accuracy of the theory.

She wanted to find out how many steps a day is necessary to lose weight based on the recommendations stated by the U.S. Surgeon General’s guidelines for public health.

The guidelines suggest that the recommended duration for performing a moderate activity for wellness is 30 minutes.

Based on this, Tudor-Locke conducted an experiment on 40 people whose age ranges from 18 to 40. Each of them walked on a treadmill while wearing a pedometer to measure the important variables of the experiment.

Aside from the pedometer, the scientist used additional devices such as a video tape and portable metabolic unit to measure the other important variables.

In this study, they found that it would take 3,000 to 4,000 steps to do a moderate-intensity physical activity for 30 minutes.  Also, they found out that a 30-minute walk takes almost 3600 steps.

Tudor-Locke said that the average walking activity without the exercise ranges from 3,000 to 4,000 steps. If you will add this number to the 3,000 to 4,000 steps for a 30-minute walk, it will result to almost 10,000 steps. For this reason, the 10,000-step theory is generally accurate.


Not Completely Accurate

ASU also conducted the experiment on different age groups and on different geographical areas.

They have found out that children, whose age are 12 to 15 years old, walk almost 11,000 to 13,000 per day. The increase in number is due to their high energy levels and stride range.

Hence, the 10,000-step theory is not applicable for everyone. Research suggests that children, whose age ranges from 6 to 12-years-old, should walk between 12.000 to 15,000 steps each day to prevent obesity.


Will Walking Less Than 10,000 Steps Do?

Tudor-Locked also pointed out that inactive people are those who take 5,000 steps or less, which is comparable to the ones with Type II diabetes with a sedentary lifestyle.

She added that having an inactive lifestyle is a fast ticket to having diabetes and obesity. Those who are under this condition are the ones who are the most likely to gain weight and lose muscles.



To maintain weight and wellness, adults should walk 10,000 steps a day, 12,000 to 15,000 for children, and 11,000 to 13,000 for teens. However, on how many steps a day that you need to take to lose weight, the experts recommend that you should walk more than the suggested number of steps.


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