Thanks to perfect early summer temperatures and lower-intensity fitness, walking is having a moment. But as people ditch their boot camp class to walk to work, one question keeps coming up: How much should we really be walking? Is it 10,000 steps? Or 15,000, as new research shows?
You've probably most commonly heard that walking 10,000 steps per day is ideal—and it’s not unusual to see followers of this directive constantly checking their fitness trackers in hopes of achieving the "magic number" and quickly announcing it to everyone within earshot.
Certainly anything that gets people to move more is laudable. But it turns out that the 10,000-steps-a-day guideline is overly simplistic and based more around marketing than sound science. The concept originated in the 1960s with a Japanese manufacturer of a pedometer called manpo-kei, which translates to "10,000 steps meter." In fact, it is thought that the number 10,000 was chosen because of its exalted status in Japanese culture.