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Forget 10,000 steps: How much is enough?

When it comes to getting your steps in you may have heard 10,000 steps is what you should be aiming for but do you really need that many?
When it comes to getting your steps in you may have heard 10,000 steps is what you should be aiming for but do you really need that many?

ORLANDO, Fla. – When it comes to tracking your fitness, you might have heard that 10,000 steps is the target goal to reach each day. But do you really need that many?

What’s ideal for heart health or for losing weight?

Three thousand; 8,000, 15,000 steps? How much do you do a day?

Most fitness trackers recommend a goal of 10,000 steps a day -- or about 5 miles. But it turns out, there’s not a lot of scientific support behind this number.

A 2019 Harvard study found regular walking did improve mortality rates in older women. But the reduction in risk appeared to max out at about 7,500 steps a day.

A 2020 National Institutes of Health study of almost 5,000 men and women found those who walked 8,000 steps a day were half as likely to die early than those who walked 4,000 steps a day. But the statistical benefits of walking more steps than that were not significant.

The important thing is that you move every day. Regular walking has been shown to promote weight loss, reduce your risk of disease and improve energy. A recent estimate found most adults in the U.S., Canada and other western nations average fewer than 5,000 steps a day.