What is better: 10 minutes walking or 10,000 steps?

Postdate: 24 September 2018

What is more feasible? Taking 10,000 steps every day or walking every day a little faster for 10 minutes? In this blog of Tsuru expert and cardiologist Drs. Ruud van Langeveld you will read the answer.

Steps as a marketing tool
The 10,000 steps is clearly a magical number. It is a round amount of steps that guarantees your daily fitness and lifts your health to a higher level. Actually, the 10,000 steps originated as a marketing tool. In the wake of the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, the Japanese population was encouraged to become more active. They used a pedometer that listened to the name “Manpo-Kei”.

In Japanese, 'man' means 10,000, 'po' steps and 'kei' stands for meters. It was a non-scientific story with which gave birth to the 10,000 steps per day as a concept.

Lack of time
By far the majority of us are walking 10 minutes every day. And this seems just to be enough to lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Many people feel that you should be more active if you want to be fit. At least 45 minutes every day. That also makes it much less feasible, because who nowadays has the time to do that every day?

Also read: Why walking is good for you

What is better?
It appears that 10 minutes walking in a high pace has at least the effect of 10,000 steps. Of course it may be the beginning of more, but these 10 minutes already have an effect. Your heart rate rises and you get a bit out of breath. Prof. dr. Paul Cosford, medical director of British Public Health states:

“Physical exertion can be compromised under the daily pressure of all other things. But a brisk walk as a fixed, daily routine is a simple way to become more active immediately. You put your heart to work, improve your mood and reduce the chance of serious health problems.”

Moving moderate- intensive every day for a period of only 10 minutes turns out to be just as effective. It reduces early death by 15%. We are talking about the effect of 10,000 steps per day.


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