Could walking less be more effective than 10,000 steps a day?
In 1950 a study was carried out on London bus drivers and conductors.
They wanted to test the hypothesis that bus drivers were more likely to suffer from heart problems compared with their ticket stamping colleagues.
What they found was that drivers were twice as likely to die from a fatal heart attack as conductors.
Drivers spend more of their day sitting down.
Important, but not always easy
Being more active is important, but not always easy when you have a sedentary job.
I wrote recently about the 10,000 steps a day target, and how only about 13% of my Facebook group On The Wagon claim to hit it every day.
And I’d confidently claim that these are an above-average bunch of people when it comes to exercise and fitness.
10,000 steps or Active10?
Recently there has been a movement towards the idea of doing 3 blocks of 10 minutes ‘brisk’ walking instead of slogging away to 10,000 steps.
Not just because it’s easier to fit in for most people, but because it’s potentially more effective for general health.
Yesterday I spoke with Professor Rob Copeland from Sheffield Hallam University who was the guy behind the study.
The key ingredient
What he said was that the key ingredient is intensity.
For example, a leisurely mooch around the shops is unlikely to get your heart rate up (dependent of course on which shops your wife goes into!)
But 10 minutes of faster paced walking that starts to get a sweat on could have a positive impact on your health.
I still believe the 10k steps can be a helpful way to keep activity top of mind, and Rob certainly didn’t think that it was a bad thing.
But simply add a bit of pace to your steps and you’re onto something.
Besides, if you’re going somewhere, you might as well get there fast!
There’s an Active10 app I’m starting to play around with that might be worth checking out, especially if you consistently struggle to hit 10k steps like me!