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The myth of the 10,000 steps a day has been dispelled. How many steps do you actually need to take each day for a longer life?

Walking makes your foot beautiful … and more. Doctors say that long walks not only help us maintain our figure, but also bring many health benefits. And the magic number would be 10,000 steps a day, according to an old myth. However, researchers have found that if you take between 7,000 and 8,000 steps daily, you will get maximum health benefits, according to Insider . 

Despite recommendations everywhere, there is no scientific evidence that 10,000 steps taken daily are the ideal target for health or weight loss. This “magic” number is a random one, which appeared after an advertising campaign decades ago.

Although walking is great for your health, research suggests that 7,000 to 8,000 steps could be a better goal.

The 10,000-step-a-day recommendation came up as a marketing slogan

The recommendation of 10,000 steps taken daily started from a captivating advertisement of the Japanese, says Daniel Lieberman, a paleoanthropologist at Harvard, who studied the evolution of exercise. Lieberman wrote in his latest book, Exercised, that Manpo-kei (translated as a 10,000-foot meter) was invented in the 1960s by the Japanese company Yamasa Tokei – the manufacturer of the first commercial pedometer – which chose the name because it sounds good. And it worked. The company sold its product, and the concept became popular around the world as a measure of health.

Walking is great, but you don’t have to reach a certain goal to enjoy the benefits

Lieberman told Insider that there are several benefits to the 10,000-step-a-day target: it’s an easy number to remember, 10,000-foot distance has health benefits, and walking is an accessible activity for many.

“We all have instincts that prevent us from avoiding unnecessary activities, so we need help starting any exercise program,” Lieberman said.

But it is not necessary to reach 10,000 steps a day, research shows.

A 2019 study of older women showed that participants who walked 4,400 steps a day had lower mortality rates over four years than those who walked about 2,700 steps a day or less. But higher benefits appear at about 7,500 steps a day, and researchers have not noticed any additional benefits for 10,000 or more steps a day.

Another study conducted in 2020 showed that taking 8,000 to 12,000 steps a day was correlated with a lower risk of dying from any cause during the study, compared to 4,000 steps a day.

These studies show that walking brings health benefits, whether or not you reach the “magic number” of 10,000 steps.

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