We’re often told to walk 10,000 steps per day, but what is the science behind that? Why not 20,000? 5,000? Why step count, and not the type of exercise, intensity, or total minutes?
With the advent of Apple Watch and Android Wear, millions of people now have heart rate sensors strapped to their wrist. To answer the questions above, we analyzed 458,000,000 distinct data points from Cardiogram for Apple Watch.
Origin of 10,000 Steps
Manpo-Kei, or “10,000 step meter”
The idea of 10,000 steps originated as a marketing slogan during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, when an athletic company released a pedometer named manpo-kei, which means “10,000 step meter”. Unfortunately, the clinical evidence is scant: while there is some work correlating step count with outcomes like BMI and blood pressure, and a set of official activity guidelines, “no study to date has systematically evaluated dose-response effects of different steps/day…
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