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This is the Minimum Steps You Should Walk Each Day, According to New Study

A large new study confirms a major benefit of walking.

When it comes to how many steps you should walk per day, there has always been a little debate. Some people claim you should be walking at least 7,000, while others maintain the magic number is closer to 10,000. A new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BMJ) hopes to put the debate to rest, determining how many steps per day otherwise sedentary people should walk. 

Walking 10,000 Steps a Day Can Help You Live Longer

Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Feb 20, 2022. A Person with an Apple Watch Series 7 with a pedometer app on the screen and with a daily ten thousand steps.

Researchers from the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre found that increasing your step count up to 10,000 may counteract the health implications of too much sedentary time each day. This primarily impacts people who sit at a desk all day. 

The More Steps You Walk, You Are Less Likely to Die

Active woman using smartwatch

The study involved 72,000 people and found that no matter how much sedentary time someone spent every day, walking up to 10,000 steps a day reduced risk of death by 39 percent and cardiovascular disease by 21 percent.

People "Can and Should Try to Offset the Health Consequences" of Sedentary Time

the man walking the dog early in the morning by the river

"This is by no means a get out of jail card for people who are sedentary for excessive periods of time, however, it does hold an important public health message that all movement matters and that people can and should try to offset the health consequences of unavoidable sedentary time by upping their daily step count," Matthew Ahmadi, one of the lead authors of the study said. 

It's Easy to Increase Step Count

man Rope tie shoe run in gym

"Step count is a tangible and easily understood measure of physical activity that can help people in the community, and indeed health professionals, accurately monitor physical activity. We hope this evidence will inform the first generation of device-based physical activity and sedentary behavior guidelines, which should include key recommendations on daily stepping," Senior author Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis added.

Walking More Than 2,200 Steps a Day Increased Benefits


The group was divided up with the lowest amount of steps set at 2200. "Any amount of daily steps above the referent 2,200 steps/day was associated with lower mortality and incident CVD risk, for low and high sedentary time. Accruing between 9000 and 10,000 steps a day optimally lowered the risk of mortality and incident CVD among highly sedentary participants," the study reads. 50 percent of the benefit was achieved at between 4,000 and 4,500 steps a day.

10,000 Steps Will Also Help You Lose Weight

Beach travel - woman walking on sand beach leaving footprints in the sand. Closeup detail of female feet and golden sand on Maui, Hawaii, USA.

If you want to lose weight, 10,000 steps is a good goal, adds a 2018 study published in the journal Obesity. Those researchers found a link between walking 10,000 steps a day and weight loss and weight management. 

Related: The 11 Supplements Everyone Should Prioritize, According to a Nutrition Expert

It Also Promotes Other Health Benefits

Smart watch woman using smartwatch touching button and touchscreen on active sports activity or morning jogging during beach sunrise or sunset. Closeup of hands and wrist with smart watch screen.

Other studies published by the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) in JAMA Neurology and in JAMA Internal Medicine also linked walking 10,000 steps a day to less dementia and less cardiovascular disease overall, with less heart disease, less heart failure and fewer strokes.

💪🔥Body Booster: Set a goal of 10,000 steps per day for one week and afterwards, ask yourself if you notice any changes in your body or health. 

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more