STOP falling for this medical MYTH

As with many things in the medical community—and elsewhere, for that matter—myths get build up so much, they become a fact in many people’s minds.

For instance, there’s no scientific evidence that eating fiber will prevent colon cancer… or that salt will kill you. But how many of you believe those myths to be true—or know someone who does?

Well, this next example might just be the MOST hyped-up medical myth of all…

Marketing gold

I’m talking about the 10,000 steps myth.

That magic number is believed to optimize health and longevity.

But did you know this 10,000-step goal is rooted more in marketing than in science?

See, a step counting device was created in Toyko back in 1965. It was called the “manpo-kei,” which means “10,000 steps meter.” And the company that created it believed that magic number would help reduce heart disease risk.

(Yes, you ready that correctly: A marketing company set this arbitrary standard to promote SALES.)

Now, before you get the wrong idea…

I’m not here to deny that walking is good for us. Increasing our daily step counts is a realistic and healthy goal.

But 10,000 steps can be a lot for many people—causing them to, frankly, give up before they even try.

When the reality is, health benefits kick in long before hitting that 10,000-step goal.

A new approach

Here’s a look at different step counts—and their health benefits:

Let’s start with 2,500 steps. By walking just barely one mile per day, you will still protect your heart—and slash risk of dying from heart disease, our nation’s leading cause of death. And this protection grows by 7 percent for each additional 500 steps taken.

Now let’s aim for 4,000 steps daily. This number will help you reduce your risk of suffering a premature death from any cause.

Once you hit a 6,000-step target, you may even lower your risk for Type 2 diabetes. Especially if you’re an older woman. Tack on another 500, and you could lower your blood pressure.

Now we are getting somewhere!

At 8,000 steps per day, you might boost your mood (combat depression), sleep better (reduce risk of sleep apnea), and lose weight (ward off obesity).

With 9,800 steps, you could slash your risk of developing dementia right in HALF.

And really, the benefits continue the more you move.

In other words, if you take as “little” as 2,500 steps—or as much as 11,500 steps—per day, you’re doing your body a whole lot of good.

See, step counts should be individualized.

Start with a number that’s reasonable for you… continue hitting that target… and then aim higher, little by little.

I believe you can do it—and you will! Even better, the health benefits you experience will be remarkable.


“Need Your Patients to Move More? Show Them This.” Medscape, 01/24/2024. (