If so, don’t sweat it, says a new study.
While netting 10,000 steps per day is widely considered a gold-standard goal for wellness, that benchmark isn’t rooted in science, note researchers behind a new study out of Brigham & Women’s Hospital. (In fact, it’s thought that the 10,000-step target was first introduced decades ago as part of a marketing campaign for a Japanese pedometer.) To find out how many steps can actually boost a person’s overall health, researchers enlisted 17,000 women with an average age of 72. Participants wore clip-on pedometers to track daily step count, and researchers followed up with them after roughly four years. They found 4,400 steps to be an important benchmark: Women who averaged that number or higher were 40 percent less likely to have died throughout the study than those who netted less. Surprisingly, those benefits maxed out around 7,500 steps. So reset your expectations and gets strolling!