We’ve all heard the “walk 10,000 steps a day to be healthy” pitch, but new research says that, while 10,000 is better than nothing, it might not quite be enough.
Unsurprisingly, those who sat most of the day had higher BMIs, larger waistlines, poor blood sugar control, and less than ideal cholesterol profiles when compared to those who moved around more. In fact, for every hour of sitting during the day beyond five hours, participants had a .2% increased likelihood of developing heart disease in their lifetime based on the researchers’ model.
Workers who walked 15,000 steps or more each day (which is roughly seven miles), or were standing upright for seven hours or more, had normal BMIs, average waistlines, and had no features of metabolic syndrome.
This research suggests that our current estimate of 10,000 steps per day may be too conservative, and that 15,000 steps is the mark we should be aiming for if we want to stave off life-threatening cardiac conditions.
Walk for 30 minutes before work, during lunch, and after dinner. Add a few, quick 10-minute walks throughout the day and you’re golden.