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Just looking at the number 10,000 seems overwhelming but here are some reasons you should consider becoming more familiar with it. Two studies from researchers at the University of Sydney and the University of Southern Denmark found in the 78,500 U.K., adults aged 40-79 studied, there was a decline in dementia, heart disease, cancer and a lengthening of life. Regardless of your age, that should get your attention.

Here are the specifics:

  • The optimal number of steps was 9,800 to reduce chance of dementia by approximately 50%
  • At 3800 steps, the risk of dementia was reduced by 25%
  • Ever 2000 steps taken lowered the chance of pre-mature death by approximately 10%
  • An increased pace of walking increases the benefits
  • After 10,000, steps benefits plateaued or declined

The studies are published in the journals JAMA Internal Medicine and JAMA Neurology.

So, how does 10,000 steps show up in your life? Well, it is about 8 kms, so think of just under two hours. How do you fit them in in your already busy life? Keep in mind the rewards are pretty substantial so you should be motivated but here are some life hacks:

  1. Break the 10,000 up into smaller chunks
  2. At work, get outside and walk for your breaks (it will improve your mental state as well)
  3. Go with a friend and chat or listen to a compelling ebook or podcast
  4. Drop an ellyptical machine in front of your TV (this is how I watch my hockey games;)
  5. Start your morning with a ½ hr walk and set up your day mentally while you are doing it
  6. Go for a walk when returning calls from clients (again, you will be mentally sharper)
  7. Walk by places that are visually interesting (we have a migratory bird bay here)
  8. Allow yourself a tasty reward when you make your goal (10,000 steps = 500 calories)
  9. Turn your 10,000 steps into adventurous hikes
  10. Start out at a smaller number (ie 3000) and build up


10,000 steps and you. You were made for each other!:)