How Many Steps Should You Be Taking a Day?

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So what’s the amount of steps we need to be taking? A lot of research has come out lately showing the negative consequences of sitting for extended period of time.

So what’s the amount of steps we need to be taking? The aim is for 10,000 a day.

The average person is takes 1000-3000 steps a day, far less then the 10,000 that is recommended. But why is walking so important?

Our ancestors spend days hunting and tracking animals and risk not coming away with anything, but today we have become so lazy and too busy to not spend time on our feet walking and this can actually have some serious health consequences.

Why Is Staying On Our Feet So Important?

A lot of research has come out lately showing the negative consequences of sitting for extended periods of time.

It seems weird to think that sitting could make us sick and fat but when you realize that adults are sedentary for 60% of their waking hours and the average person sits for 6 hours a day it’s easy to see how inactive we really are.

When you spend too much time sitting you increase blood pressure as the diameter of your arteries is decreased and these can both increase heart disease risk.

If you’re sitting too much, you sabotage your lymphatic system and according to the report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, health hazards seem to be greatest for people who sit 8 or 9 hours a day. The impact was even more pronounced in people who did not exercise regularly.

Another risk is bone fracture as excessive time sitting decreases bone mineral density and add to that excessive weight and obesity which comes from sitting.  Being inactive plus excess weight puts a lot of force  on those weakening bones.

Speaking of excessive weight it becomes much harder to lose weight when you spend a lot of time sitting as it decreases an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase or LPL which helps burn fat.

Ideally you want to spend 50% of your waking hours on your feet for optimal health. This might not always be possible but it is very easy to incorporate in extra steps.

The average person is taking 1000-3000 steps a day, far less then the 10,000 that is recommended. This is where wearable technology or your phone can become valuable.

The ability to measure your steps gives you a good indicator of where you are starting out at with the goal being able to get up to 10,000 steps a day.

If you have taken measurements and found your only doing say 5000 a day you don’t want to immediately jump up to 10,000 the next day but make it a goal to add in 500 extra steps a day.

Ways To Add In More Steps

It’s easy to incorporate in extra steps a day and it can be as simple as taking a walk after dinner. The average persons stride length is around 2.5 feet long so going for a mile walk will use up about 2000 steps which is very manageable.

other ways to increase steps:

  • using stairs instead of elevators or escalators
  • parking farther from your work or at the mall
  • doing yard work
  • getting up to change the channel
  • walk on lunch breaks

You can see the dangers that come from a lack of activity. Even if we exercise we tend to neglect our basic human function of walking the rest of the day.

Just because you spent an hour in the gym doesn’t mean you are immune from walking and can spend the rest of the day on the couch.

Keep in mind that it’s best to not go more than 2 hours of straight sitting. Make it a point to get up for a minute or two every half hour if you work a sit down desk.

A lot of people have even got into stand up desks which might not be practical where you are but are a step in the right direction for getting back in tune with our natural state

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