The Obsession over 10,000 steps

With the advent of smartwatches, the obsession over the ‘no of steps’ one has completed in a day has hit the roof. More and more people are looking to the “Fitbit’s” and the “iWatch’s” in the hope of ensuring they reach the magic ‘10,000’ step mark. It seems as though fitness and having an active lifestyle is now being defined by the number of steps one completes in a day.

Devices like these have definitely ensured that fitness has probably become more mainstream than it ever was. What started from pedometers has moved on to smart devices, apps and even competitions for fitness. All of it has further emphasized that a good fitness regimen is the secret of a happy life.

A lot many doctors have also advised that completing 10,000 steps a day is quite a good number for a person to stay fit. But then, is that really the case?

What did one do when pedometers and smartwatches weren’t around? Weren’t people fit back then? Why this obsession with the number of steps? Isn’t exercising like basic cardio, ab exercises etc also part of a healthy life style?

The fact is that big organizations whether its Fitbit, Apple, Samsung etc. have all pushed forward the concept of ‘number of steps’ as a basic proof of staying fit. They have also added features which measure ones sleep patterns, floors climbed etc. And it has worked quite brilliantly as by 2020 more than 440 million wearable devices would have been sold across the planet.

And this has also ensured that there is much more competition than ever amongst teenagers and adults alike on who completes the most steps. There was a time when just waving ones hand increased the number of steps and exercise minutes. Thankfully, as the years have gone by, the tracking capabilities have improved so much so that one doesn’t trick a device to move ahead in this ‘step’ game.

What’s lost more often than not is the fact that just getting to 10,000 steps shouldn’t be the goal. Not everyone needs to walk 10,000 steps per day. Moreover, wearing a smartwatch or any other wearable device 24×7 exposes one to a lot more radiation than one who doesn’t at all.

While one should definitely walk a certain number of steps everyday rather than have a sedentary lifestyle, its also important to do a certain amount of cardio to keep the mind and body fresh. While wearable devices are good in their own ways, they cannot be the be-all and end-all of fitness the same way as the magic 10,000 step figure.

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