We’ve all heard that 10,000 steps per day is the magic number to help increase longevity and quality of life. However, a recent study found 10,000 steps is actually not the magic number at all. The effect of daily steps varies significantly with age. For adults aged 60 or over the goal is 6,000 - 8,000 steps while those younger than 60 see comparable risk benefits with 8,000 - 10,000 steps per day.
According to The Blue Zones Initiative, the world’s longest living people do not run marathons, weight train or join gyms. Instead, they live in environments conducive to movement without them even knowing it. They move on the job, walk every day – almost everywhere.
There are a ton of benefits to walking, which include:
- Activating your lymphatic system
- Eliminating toxins
- Fighting infection
- Strengthening your immunity
If your community or workplace is not very walkable, here are some ways to add walking to your daily routine:
- Take several small walks. Walk around the block with Fido, walk instead of drive to pick up lunch. Go for a brisk walk with your family after dinner. Research shows it is better to break up your movement through the day than to workout for 30-40 minutes and sit all day.
- Walk to the grocery store. If you can do it safely from your location, walk to the store to purchase the week’s groceries in a single trip.
- Park in a spot furthest from the building. Choose to park far away from an entrance to add a few more steps to your day.
- Walk 5 minutes each hour. Get up from the desk and take a lap or two around the office. Fill up your water bottle and get outside to maximize benefits, if you can!
- Take one long walk of 30-40 minutes. Recruit a friend or two (human or furry) to take an after-work walk. This is beneficial whether you sit or move all day. Be intentional with this walk!
Watch Blue Zones “What is Walkability and Why it Matters.”
Watch NPR’s “Sitting all day can be deadly. 5-minute walks can offset harms.”