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Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality healthcare, explores the benefits that 10,000 daily steps have on your health and well-being.


Have you ever wondered the distance you cover in 10 000 steps?

The average length of a single stride is approximately 80cm, which equates to roughly 8km/10 000steps.


 The habit of tracking steps has grown in popularity over the last decade. People track to improve their fitness or compete with their friends or coworkers. The current advice is to walk 10,000 steps per day – but why?


Interestingly, while this “recommendation” was not initially supported by science, science demonstrates compelling reasons why 10,000 steps per day is a good goal.

What’s The Meaning Of A Number?

The magical number 10,000 steps originated in a Japanese marketing campaign in 1965 when a Japanese health science professor invented a pedometer and believed that walking 10,000 steps per day would prevent obesity in the Japanese population.


The pedometer was named Manpo-Kei, which translates to “10,000-step-metre”. Since then, the 10,000-step recommendation has stuck.

How To Get 10,000 Steps Into Your Day

If 10,000 steps seem daunting, we have good news: you can begin with fewer steps and reap significant benefits. Even minor efforts to move more throughout the day can have substantial benefits.


Research shows that doing anything other than sitting for 30 minutes daily (walking, yoga, skipping, stretching, etc.) reduces the risk of premature death by 17%. Higher-intensity exercise reaps even more significant benefits, reducing the risk of early death by 35%.


“Millions of South Africans have been working from home since COVID-19 began. That is why it is more important than ever to get out of the house and walk to improve your health,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.


“Start by tracking your average steps for a week or two if you’re new to tracking steps. Then set a goal to go above and beyond your average step count. Trying to reach 10,000 steps is a great goal, but if you are getting discouraged, consider re-accessing your goal. Get out and move more than you did yesterday.”

Benefits of walking 10 000 steps a day

  • Decrease in the cardiovascular disease and its complications, including:
    • Stroke
    • Myocardial infarct
    • Arrhythmias
    • Thromboembolic disease
  • Improves control of high blood pressure and diabetes
    • Lifestyle changes, including dietary changes and more physical activity, such as walking 10 000 steps a day, increases the body’s ability to better control hypertension and diabetes
    • Regular physical activity makes the body more compliant to medication used to treat hypertension and diabetes
  • Lowers the risk of certain cancers
    • More physical activity is associated with lower risks of certain types of cancer, including colon, breast, prostate and endometrial cancers
  • Improves weight control
    • Staying active helps boost your metabolism
    • A higher metabolic rate results in better weight control
  • Improves muscle and bone strength
    • Walking engages various muscle groups
    • Greater muscle activity assists in bone health
  • Lowers the risk of dementia
    • A high daily step count and a high step intensity (cadence) is associated with a lower incidence of dementia
  • Psychological benefits include
    • Mood improvement
    • Better sleep
    • Better concentration

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading provider of health insurance, offering you a range of options at affordable rates including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, your budget, and your lifestyle. Our range of healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service at all times. For more information, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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