We have invited guest blogger, Dr Lewis Ehrlich, to contribute a few articles to our blog, kicking off with why 10,000 steps a day are so important.
A marketing campaign before the start of the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 gave rise to the 10,000 steps per day target for improved health outcomes. Initially, there was very little interest in this specific number and limited evidence to suggest it was beneficial. Since that time, and with the community’s growing interest in fitness trackers, it has been a target engrained in our psyche to reach on a daily basis. But what does the evidence say?
A recent study showed that mortality rates in women who averaged 4,400 steps per day had a 41% reduction in mortality, and mortality rates improved progressively before leveling off at around 7,500 steps per day. So, if your goal is staying alive, turns out that 7,500 seems to do the trick. However, beyond mortality, other studies have shown that getting in 10,000 steps can minimise your risk of depression, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Similarly, you can minimise your chances of metabolic syndrome by 10% per 1,000-step increase per day.
The Australian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines suggest that we need at least 150 minutes of movement per week at a moderate intensity. This equates to around 30 minutes of movement per day. The average Aussie gets up to around 7,500 steps per day. So, with a dedicated 30 minutes of moderate exercise, it is very achievable to get in your remaining 2,500 steps.
Of course, a 10,000-step target is not for everyone. People that are office workers, those with chronic illnesses and the elderly find it difficult to achieve this step count. Similarly, children often get far more steps in and so do long distance runners. Therefore, people shouldn’t get too hung up on the exact number, and goals need to be tailored to individual circumstances.
Nonetheless, here are some strategies for those looking to get in some extra steps:
If your commute isn’t too long, allow enough time to walk to work and leave the car at home.
Take the stairs, instead of the escalator or elevator.
If you are taking public transport to work, get off one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way.
When doing household chores like bringing in the groceries from the car, deliberately break it up into several trips.
About Dr Lewis Ehrlich: Lewis is a Dentist who graduated from James Cook University (JCU) with the Academic Medal. He is the Honorary Dentist to the Football Federation of Australia (FFA) encompassing the Socceroos, Matilda’s, A-League, W-League and National Youth Teams. With a background in professional sport and his passion for holistic health, Lewis focuses on the link between oral health and general overall health. His mission is to educate people to take control of their own health and prevent oral health disease and in-turn overall health diseases.
Before studying dentistry, he completed a Bachelor of Science at Northeastern University in Boston, USA. He then moved to Reykjavik, Iceland where he played professional soccer.
Lewis is passionate about the many links between oral and general health. He is a qualified fitness instructor and has a qualification in Holistic Health Coaching. He is also a member of the Australasian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine (ACNEM), the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain, and the American Academy of Cosmetic Orthodontics.
Lewis is a dentist at Sydney Holistic Dental Centre where he is a valued member of the team. When he is not in the clinic attending to his patients oral and general health, he loves travelling, reading and keeping active.
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