The Evidence

Health Check: do we really need to take 10,000 steps a day?

The following article, written by Corneel Vandelanotte, Kerry Mummery, Mitch Duncan, and Wendy Brown, was originally published in The Conversation on February 6th, 2019. You can read the original article here. Regular walking produces many health benefits, including reducing our risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and depression. Best of all, it’s free, we can do it anywhere and, for most of us, it’s relatively easy to fit into our daily routines. We often hear 10,000 as the golden number of steps to strive for in a day. But do we really need to take 10,000 steps a day? Not necessarily. This figure was originally popularised as part of a marketing campaign, and has been subject to some criticism. But if it gets you walking more, it might be a good goal to work towards. Where did 10,000 come from? The 10,000 steps concept was initially formulated in Japan in the lead-up to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. There was no real evidence to support this target. Rather, it was a marketing strategy to sell step counters. There was very little interest in the idea until the turn of the century, when the concept was revisited by Australian health promotion researchers in 2001 to encourage people to be more active. Based on…

Global Action Plan on Reducing Physical Inactivity

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently released a Global Action Plan on physical activity with the aim of reducing physical inactivity by 10% by 2025, and by 15% by 2030. To support this goal they have developed 4 main objectives: Create active societies: “Create a paradigm shift in all of society by enhancing knowledge and understanding of, and appreciation for, the multiple benefits of regular physical activity, according to ability and at all ages.”1 Create active environments: “Create and maintain environments that promote and safeguard the rights of all people, of all ages, to have equitable access to safe places and spaces, in their cities and communities, in which to engage in regular physical activity, according to ability.”1 Create active people: “Create and promote access to opportunities and programmes, across multiple settings, to help people of all ages and abilities to engage in regular physical activity as individuals, families and communities.”1 Create active systems: “Create and strengthen leadership, governance, multisectoral partnerships, workforce capabilities, advocacy and information systems across sectors to achieve excellence in resource mobilization and implementation of coordinated international, national and subnational action to increase physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour.”1 The reduction of sedentary behaviour is included in objective…

“Aus-First Study Shows Cost-Effective Way to Reduce Office Sitting Time”

An Australian first study, written by Dr Lan Gao at Deakin University, shows how Australia can save BIG if companies invest in sit-stand desks for their employees. These findings are very exciting because they encourage workplaces to support workers to reduce their sitting levels and increase their movement at work. To learn more, check out the media release here, or you can read the full article in the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health.

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