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Health experts have criticized the effectiveness of the 10,000-step daily exercise regimen.
The exercise was developed in the 1960s following the success of a marketing campaign for a pedometer called Manpo-Kei, which literally means “10,000-step meter.” Researchers from the Kyushu University of Health and Welfare started to examine the possible benefits of taking 10,000 steps daily. The researchers concluded that a Japanese person takes a daily average of 3,500 to 5,000 steps, and increasing the number of steps to 10,000 a day could lower the risk of coronary heart disease.
Researches over the years have attested to the exercise’s health benefits. Major health institutions like the American Heart Foundation and the World Health Organization have recommended it to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
However, some experts recently questioned if the 10,000 figure should be the rule of thumb. Exercise physiologist David Bassett said that the exercise’s proponents had no evidence on the effectiveness of taking 10,000 steps a day.
Additionally, Professor Catrine Tudor-Locke of the Center for Personalized Health Monitoring asserted that previous studies used only the 10,000 figure as a benchmark. Therefore, the results are limited because the effectiveness of other figures was not tested.
The exercise had also received criticism in the past. In 2015, exercise scientist Dr. Jinger Gottschall [GOT-schuhl] said that the exercise could be overwhelming for beginners. Thus, she recommended taking 3,000 steps a day for three to five days per week to get healthier. Because the exercise could be child’s play for those who are already active, Gottschall suggests increasing the length or the difficulty of the exercise to improve the overall fitness of these people.