(Part 2 of 14 in series, John Briffa's "A Good Look at Good Health")
Memorize this: “8,000 at 20”
That is: “8,000 steps at a 20-minute-mile walking pace.” I’ll explain below, but first…
The researchers involved in this study then looked at what levels of activity appeared to be associated with BENEFITS for PHYSICAL and MENTAL health. What they found was that improved physical health was seen in individuals taking 8,000 steps a day at [a certain] intensity.
The threshold above which there was an associated benefit for MENTAL health was lower: only 4,000 steps a day at [a certain] intensity.
~ John Briffa
It’s not about how far you walk; Don’t worry about how long your legs are. It’s about how hard you are working when you walk. Basically, you need to do the steps at a level of exertion that is roughly 3 times you base metabolic rate; That is to say, the rate at which your body burns energy when you are sitting still doing nothing. The intensity this research points at is roughly a 20-minute-mile walking pace for average height/legs. This is faster than “I’m strolling” but well below “I’m late! speed walking”.
Just go walk for 45 minutes every day.