A journey of 10,000 steps a day

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Lisa Liddane

Published: March 3 2004

If you’re battling excess weight, your doctor may give you a more specific prescription for physical activity in your next checkup: Get a pedometer and walk a minimum of 10,000 steps. The concept of walking 10,000 steps and using a pedometer has been gaining momentum as an exercise trend, said Catrine Tudor-Locke, an exercise scientist at the Arizona State University in Mesa and a faithful pedometer user.    

Although pedometers have been around for decades, only in recent years did personal fitness trainers and other fitness practitioners recommend their use in a specific way for setting goals and providing feedback and motivation, she said.

Why 10,000 steps? In order for us to meet the surgeon general’s recommendation of a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity at a moderate intensity, we need to walk much more, in the range of an additional 6,000 to 7,000 steps, she explained.