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A fitness center in Seattle, United States, offers to offer 10,000 dollars to a person who agrees to train to walk for a month to reach 10,000 steps per day.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends taking at least 10,000 steps a day to combat the effects of a sedentary lifestyle and stay healthy. A figure that is above all symbolic, because it is easy to remember, but which is far from having been adopted by the greatest number, especially in the United States. Americans only take 3,000 to 4,000 steps per day on average.

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To encourage them to stay active, a new Seattle gym is offering $10,000 to a person who will set an example by showing that it is possible to go from 3,000 to 10,000 steps a day in a month, and that sticking to walking every day can bring real health benefits.

“Our ideal candidate must be willing to take a new step in their exercise routine and be willing to commit to walking every day for a month, recording their progress, and recording their thoughts and feelings about exercise. experience along the way. No prior fitness knowledge or experience necessary!” we learn in this ad from Gymbird.

Are you tempted to respond to this job offer? You have until July 19 to do so… but it requires American citizenship!

Why take 10,000 steps a day?

This number of steps would have no scientific basis according to Dr. Amanda Paluch, epidemiologist at the University of Massachusetts (USA) but it is a good communication tool. In 1964, on the occasion of the Tokyo Olympics, a Japanese company created a pedometer, called “Manpo-kei”, which translates into 10,000 steps.

This number would ultimately only be a marketing story. It’s a round number, high enough to be a goal but still achievable. “It is also a clear communication tool for public health messages“, says the researcher.

How many steps should be taken for a protective effect?

In a meta-analysis, built around 15 already existing studies, a research team estimated a new figure, more easily achievable: according to his age, this figure would probably be closer to 6000 steps per day. “What we’ve seen is this gradual reduction in risk as the steps increase“, explains Amanda Paluch. Thus aim for 6,000 to 8,000 steps per day could help lead a longer life.

Focused on 47,471 adults from Asia, North America, Australia and Europe, this meta-analysis shows that the 25% of adults who took the most steps each day had a 40 to 53% risk to die less. The study also found that young people would do well to walk a little more, but no evidence that they would live longer walking 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day.

The main takeaway is that there is plenty of evidence to suggest that moving a little more is beneficial, especially for those who do very little activity.“, ends Amanda Paluch.

In September 2021, the researcher had already asked herself this question: “VSHow many steps are enough on a daily basis for a protective effect?”

To find out the number of daily steps that reduce the risk of premature death, the epidemiologist had followed a cohort of more than 2,000 men and women, aged 45 on average. The experiment began in 2005, and the participants, who were fitted with accelerometers to count their daily step count and step intensity during waking hours, were tracked at regular intervals until 2018.

Conclusion: People who took at least 7000 steps a day had about a 50-70% lower risk of premature death than those who averaged less than 7,000 steps per day. On the other hand, the intensity of the steps (that is to say the speed of the steps taken) does not seem to have any effect on mortality.

>> Whether it is to prevent cardiovascular disease or reduce the risk of breast cancer, scientists believe that starting by setting a daily goal of 7,000 steps per day helps not to get discouraged too quickly, because 10,000 steps per day it’s still the equivalent of walking 7.5 km. In addition “taking more than 10,000 steps per day was not associated with an additional reduction in mortality risk” explain the researchers in their study, published in the Jama Network.


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