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10,000 steps a day


Jan 4, 2008

I received a promotion at work in August that requires long hours at the office. In just 5 months, I've managed to go from a size 4 to a size 9. While I still fall in a healthy range for weight, I know I'm on the wrong path (eating the same and being completely sedentary). I happened to stumble on a pedometer in my junk drawer yesterday. I googled "# of steps per day" and most of results suggested 10,000 steps a day for active people. I tried for the first time today to meet that goal. I get up for work at 4:30AM and by 10AM I had only logged 135 steps. That's about the point I knew this was going to be hard. Well, I walked a 1/4 mile on my lunch break and did 1.4 miles on the eliptical when I got home and I'm still only at 7,864 steps.

Do you all think the goal is realistic? Do "active" people really walk the equivalent of 4.75 miles a day?
Have any of you every tried to conquer this challenege before? was it effective for you?


Dec 30, 2006
I bought a pedometer the other day. I also read that I should be taking 10,000 steps per day. I wore my pedometer to go to the supermarket and I walked 2300 steps. I remember thinking 'wow is that all??'

If you are serious about walking you will have to find a way to walk those steps. Can you take a bus to work and get off a few stops early rather than driving. Or park the car a mile from your workplace and walk the rest of the way?

You can go for a walk in the evening or get up early and go in the morning.

I think its possible. I'm going to try it :))


Dec 8, 2011
Have you done a test to see if the pedometer is accurate? I have one with an accelerometer so it can be in any direction in my bag and still counts steps (as long as I have my bag on me anyway).

I average about 6k steps just normal walking around at Uni or at work. If I catch the bus instead of driving it's at least another 1K steps. I'm supposed to go for a half hour walk daily too, but have been way too lazy...

When I was going to the gym (again, too lazy) I would make the 10K steps easy plus weights- the gym was past the bus stop at the end of the street and I would walk on the treadie for about 15 minutes, plus walking home.

I think it definitely works, as long as your diet is also healthy. I eliminated all sugars and most carbohydrates, eating mostly salads, veggies and protein. I went from 57kg to 51kg, an Australian size 10 to a size 6 (I think that's a US size 2??). I could probably loose more if I tried harder but meh.


Dec 30, 2006
Well done on your weight loss and the change to your diet. Its harder than it looks! I have T2 Diabetes and really needed to change my lifestyle. Giving up sweet stuff was hard, I was moody and irritable. I'm over that now and looking forward to getting healthy. I need to lose 112 lbs. :errrr:

I am doing step aerobics and walking. I eat sensibly and am hopeful that I will lose a good amount of weight. I think water is very important too. I don't find it easy to drink water, its boring... but its good for me so I am drinking it.


Oct 9, 2011
This is a late post, but it may help...
I teach a healthy lifestyles and weight management class at a University here in Arlington (my husband authored the online class) and I have seen it really work.
We use a Fitbit to monitor activity (you can use a pedometer too...less expensive and you can always get a FB if you really get into it)
Yes, 10,000 steps is very attainable! When I am looking at my students' activity logs, the ones that are under 10,000 steps get flagged. This is because, unless you are in a completely sedentary job, there isn't a reason you should not be able to reach 9-10k if you are doing some sort of planned exercise or are the least bit active. As a Mom, I get somewhere between 12-15k just chasing my kids, doing chores, running errands.

Either way, I wanted to congratulate ya'll on the beginning of your journey. Also, there are many ways to find out what your body needs to maintain the weight you are today. They are all estimates...some are better than others, but we use this equation:

Estimate Your Daily Calorie Needs (Formula adapted from Health Management Resources Weight loss clinic & the Harris Benedict equation.)

Take your weight in lbs = __________
Multiply by 11 (12 if male) = __________
Multiply by 1.55 (moderately active) = __________ - the number of calories you will be expending each day in this class (multiply by 1.2 if you are sedentary, 1.375 if you are lightly active, 1.725 if very active, and 1.9 if extra active).
***if you think you are lightly active, put in the sedentary coefficient...same with the others. This overestimates needs in my opinion. We always just tell the students to go down one category when plugging in the numbers.

So, this gives you how many kcals it will take to maintain your current weight. There are 3500 kcals in a lb, so if you want to lose 1 lb/week you need to have a deficiency of 500 kcals/day.

Split the 500/2 and you would eat 250 less kcals/day and burn 250 kcals more (thats just a 40 min fast walk for most). To lose 2/week, just double each side.

I know that it seems complicated and I literally DRAG some students thru this, but the numbers never lie and it isn't about deprivation. There are so many apps now that keep track of intake. You can calc. expenditure by going to too. I personally like the fitbit because it has a nutrition log and exercise log. The little fitbit records all calories burned for the day.

Okay, well hopefully I didn't bore anyone, but I really wanted to post it in case someone was interested :)
My husband has lost 60 lbs doing this and it has been so much better because he's not starving all the time.

***By the way, the plateau everyone encounters is just when you need to recalculate what your body needs to maintain your NEW weight. What you needed at 220, you no longer need at 180. This is why people gain it back or reach a point and stop losing.


Oct 4, 2011
Thanks vinjewels! And congrats to your hubby for his amazing weight loss - impressive!
Now... how do you find out step equivalents? As in -if you don't walk but do yoga instead, for example. Is there a link to that? or a way of calculating steps/exercise equivalents??


Mar 3, 2013
Yes, 10,000 steps per day is very attainable. My husband and I wear pedometers and we sometimes have friendly "competitions" where we see who can get to 10,000 steps first. I recently purchased my husband a Fitbit and he really likes it. I really like the ideas of knowing how active I can be on any given day. The most steps we logged in a single day was when we took our young kids to Disney. Not only did we log about 25,000 steps, but it was done while taking turns pushing a double stroller!
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