More than 50 years ago, researchers in Japan set the standard that 10,000 steps per day is an ideal fitness goal for average adults. It took decades, but today that standard has been adopted by the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control, the Surgeon General and more. The WHO (not the 60s rock band) defines this group of average adults as being aged 18 to 64. Does this apply to you? Does your specific mobility challenge, such as fibromyalgia, CFS, or arthritis impact this generalization? Do you see any inherent problems here?
I should say, do you see yourself in these categories? Do you fit in?
After all, what does someone who’s 18 have to do with someone who’s 64? The only relationship I can imagine is that the 64 year old might send the 18 year old a yearly birthday card along with a $5 check.
In this day and age of tracking and measurements, sometimes we can feel we don’t measure up when we can’t keep up. Would 10,000 steps per day work for you? For some, it might be easy. For others, it may seem an unreachable feat.
If you’re having a fit because your FitBit urges you on toward 10,000 steps, fear not!
According to a study reported in the Arthritis Care & Research journal, 10,000 steps might not be all they’re cracked up to be (no joint pain pun intended). In fact, their studies showed that 6,000 steps seemed to be a sweet spot for those with arthritis and joint pain concerns.
Walking 6,000 steps was shown to reduce the risk of knee injury limitations related to osteoarthritis. It strengthens the muscles near the knee which prevents cartilage wear and tear.
Dr. Daniel White says, “Walking is an inexpensive activity and despite the common popular goal of walking 10,000 steps per day, our study finds only 6,000 steps are necessary to realize benefits. We encourage those with or at risk of knee OA to walk at least 3,000 or more steps each day, and ultimately progress to 6,000 steps daily to minimize the risk of developing difficulty with mobility.”
There’s no doubt that measuring, tracking, and monitoring our activities helps to motivate us toward success. So, don’t get me wrong … a FitBit or any monitor can be a great thing. We could all use a bit of motivation and validation when it comes to our fitness goals and activities!
We just need to approach
fitness carefully and
respect our mobility concerns.
How many steps do you take per day? Would working up to 6,000 steps affect your overall health? I’m sure it would mine!
Tell us about your walking challenges. Have you any experiences and stories to share?