Pedometers have recently become hugely popular and they are a brilliant way of monitoring activity levels and motivating you to get off the sofa and try to increase your steps.

10,000 is THE number to achieve in a day. That number is everywhere and it is thought that people who achieve 10,000 steps a day will be most likely to stay fit and healthy.

But how realistic is 10,000 steps a day? And what can you do if it proves too much?

The best advice we have found is to wear your pedometer for at least 3 days and to go about your business as usual. This will show you your baseline of the number of steps you generally take in a day.

A very sedentary person will take between 1,000 and 3,000 steps in a day and most people will take between 4,000 and 6,000 steps per day.

About 30 minutes brisk walking is roughly equivalent to 3,000 steps and therefore a good initial target is to add 3,000 steps to your baseline amount. This might only take you to a total of 4,000 but it’s a huge step in the right direction!

Once you are regularly hitting this new baseline you can increase your daily target in increments of 500 steps until you find yourself closer to the magic number of 10,000.

Other ways to increase your activity levels are to…

  • Take regular breaks from your desk at work
  • Take the stairs rather than using the lift
  • Park further away from the doors or shops / work etc.
  • Walk to the shops rather than taking the car
  • Stand up whilst talking on the phone
  • Get up in between TV programmes and do some star jumps or marching on the spot – anything really!

Good luck!