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Aim to be more physically active, not just for 10,000 steps

20 Mar 2018

Counting your steps daily may not be necessary to reach your health goals.

Health benefits are not dependent on achieving exactly 10,000 steps daily but are related to increasing one’s level of physical activity, said Assistant Professor Falk Mueller-Riemenschneider, Programme Leader (Physical Activity and Nutrition Determinants in Asia).

“Official recommendations emphasise that any amount of physical activity is good for health and that more activity is better… Achieving 10,000 steps daily is only one way of increasing physical activity beyond current levels, which tend to be insufficient for many individuals,” added Dr Mueller-Riemenschneider.

Adults should engage in at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity activities a week, which converts to approximately 7,000 to 8,000 steps per day. Higher-intensity activities are also linked with greater health benefits as compared to lower-intensity activities; for example, when comparing walking at brisk pace and walking at a leisurely pace, brisk walking would be better for health. Therefore a person who engages in higher-intensity activities two to three times a week, on top of clocking 10,000 steps daily, will reap even greater health benefits.

Dr Mueller-Riemenschneider also discussed the effectiveness of walking 10,000 steps daily as a means for weight loss.

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