Well, it all started in Japan many, many years ago…
The recommended 10,000 steps a day originated in Japan in the early 1960s. Japanese researchers led by Dr Yoshiro Hatano determined the average person took 3,500 to 5,000 steps per day, and that if they were to increase their steps to 10,000 steps per day, the result would be healthier, thinner people!
Dr. Hatano’s calculations also showed that we should walk 10,000 steps a day to burn about 20% of our caloric intake through activity.
It took a couple more decades for the modern pedometer and Dr Yoshiro Hatano’s research of 10,000 steps to reach a wider audience, such as America, even though millions of Japanese had been using this amazingly simple but highly effective motivational tool for many years prior. With obesity steadily climbing due to inactivity and high consumptions of fast foods, it wasn’t until the early 90s that researchers and the consumer market turned to the humble pedometer and Dr Hatanos’ 10,000 step research to try to increase activity levels of the ever-growing inactive population.
Today, the World Health Organisation (WHO), US Centre for Disease Control, US Surgeon General, American Heart Foundation, US Department of Health & Human Services, and the National Heart Foundation of Australia all recommend individuals take 10,000 steps a day to improve their health and reduce the risk of disease.
10,000 steps a day is a realistic goal that is achievable by people of all shapes, sizes and ages.
10,000 steps and you!
The Step Safari workplace challenge is about introducing physical activity into your very busy and often hectic workday, without having to set aside ‘special’ time for exercise. You simply make yourself aware of opportunities available to you during your normal day. For example:
Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator
Carry the shopping in one bag at a time
Take a 5-minute walk at lunchtime
Step out for 10 minutes with a friend or workmate
How many steps do you do?
You will find out, once you clip on your pedometer! Prepare to be shocked – many of us think we do more steps then we actually do!
Interesting facts about Japan and pedometers
In Japan, pedometers are one of the most popular fitness devices with a typical household owning an average of 3.1 pedometers.
Japanese call pedometers ‘Manpo-kei’ meaning 10,000 steps meter.
The Japanese government set an industrial standard that any pedometer sold in Japan must be accurate within 3% of actual steps taken.
Step Safari is a pedometer workplace challenge that is uniquely on demand and customizable. Our walking experts have combined intelligent design with up-to-the-minute technology to create an interactive step challenge that inspires employees to be active, and provides coordinators with a turnkey solution to running a successful corporate wellness program. If your organisation is interested in taking up the challenge, contact us for a live demo.