2 joggers going out to jog to hit their target of 10,000 steps daily.

Step It Up: The Benefits of 10,000 Steps Per Day

2 Minutes Read

What is 10,000 steps about?

The goal of taking 10,000 steps per day, or approximately 8 kilometers, has gained widespread popularity as a way to improve physical health and reduce the risk of various chronic diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends adults between the age of 18 to 64 years old should engage in at least 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity weekly1.

In Singapore where a fast-paced work culture can lead to sedentary behavior, the goal of 10,000 steps per day can help to reverse this trend.

A smartwatch indicating the daily target of 10,000 steps has been reached.

Benefits of walking 10,000 steps

One of the primary reasons for the recommendation to take 10,000 steps per day is that it can help to reduce the risk of obesity. Obesity is a worrying trend in Singapore2, with data from the Ministry of Health indicating that about 10.5% of Singaporeans aged 18 and above were obese in 2019-20203. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer3. By increasing physical activity, individuals can better maintain a healthy weight and reduce their risk of obesity-related health problems.

In addition to helping to prevent obesity, getting your daily dosage of 10,000 steps can also have a number of other health benefits. Regular physical activity has been shown to improve cardiovascular health, strengthen bones and muscles, and reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer. It can also reduce stress, improve mental health and cognitive function4.

How do I start?

These are a few easy suggestions to get started:

1. Use a pedometer or a wearable fitness tracker

This allows you to track the number of steps taken each day. Many smartphones also have built-in pedometers that can be used to track steps.

In addition to tracking steps, it can also help to engage in other types of physical activity such as cycling, swimming, or participating in sports or exercise classes, which your fitness tracker may be able to track.

A smartphone indicating a man has achieved his target of taking 10,000 steps for the day.

2. Find an activity or hobby that is enjoyable

Finding something you enjoy reduces the resistance towards doing it. This can be something that can be incorporated into daily life. For example, taking a leisurely walk or jog through a park or along a beach can be a pleasant way to get in some extra steps. Joining a sports team or participating in group exercise classes can also be a fun and social way to increase physical activity. You may also choose to alight a few bus stops before your regular bus stop to get the additional walk.


In all, walking 10,000 steps a day has been shown to have numerous health benefits. In Singapore, where it is common to have desk-bound, and even sedentary jobs, it is important to make an effort to be physically active. Start today by creating small and measurable goals. For instance, it may be easier to start with 5000 steps and progressively work up to 10000 steps. As you get used to this new routine, consider finding ways to incorporate more physical activity into your daily life, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or going for a walk during lunch breaks. Remember, every step counts and it's never too late to start building healthy habits!

References

1. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity
2. https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/764/its-not-a-small-world-after-all
3. https://www.moh.gov.sg/resources-statistics/reports/national-survey-2019-20
4. https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/1282/the-surprising-health-benefits-of-10000-steps

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