15 Jul 2019

How many steps do we take?

Health guidelines suggest we walk 10,000 steps a day.
In the past few years friends have been showing me their steps-counting wristband devices boasting that they have hit the target by mid-morning. Hmmm. I am rather dubious about these claims and the figure of 10,000 steps. Especially when I know all they've done is walk to the tube/bus and then do the same at the other end. I wonder if they are just their arms around a lot!
I have always liked walking preferring it wherever possible to public transport as this allows me to explore "off road".
My guided tours average out at just over a mile for every 90 minute walk. But how many steps is that*?
I been doing some calculations of my own. When I am walking on my own I pace it out much faster than when leading a tour. I have counted the actual steps I take to do the round trip from my front door in Holloway to my printer just beyond Highbury and Islington station (just short of 4 miles). I have tested this a few times to make sure I have got it right.
And the results are in – at Jane-speed I take 4,500–5,000 steps depending on the route, getting home again in about hour. So, using the larger figure, let's say 1 mile = 1,250 steps = 15mins. This means for me to achieve 10,000 steps a day I need to walk 8 miles for 2 hrs. Minimum.
As I suspected, it's a tall order. Even for me. If you take smaller steps you will hit the target quicker and take less time to do it.
*Somewhere between 1,250 and 1,750 steps depending on your pace length and the walk route.