How far is 10,000 steps?

I hear this is how much I'm supposed to walk every day, but it's hard to picture what that really means in terms of distance.

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Leonora Pfannerstill
April 27, 2020 8:34PM

It varies based on stride length, but 10,000 steps is generally about 5 miles of walking. If that sounds like a lot, don't worry—recent research has questioned whether 10,000 steps a day is actually the best health goal.

It turns out this "guideline" was originally a marketing tactic. In 1965, a Japanese company named their pedometers what translates to "the 10,000 step meter”—perhaps because the Japanese character for “10,000” resembles a person walking—and the idea spread from there.

Steps aren’t as much of a measure of a healthy lifestyle as general activity levels. CDC's current exercise recommendations for adults are 150 minutes of moderately intense activity per week, with activities that strengthen muscles at least two days per week.


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