The average American reports sitting for more than six hours a day, according to a 2019 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. However, this might be an underestimation.
A 2015 study in Preventing Chronic Disease found that people underestimated their sedentary time by almost an hour. When the study used accelerometers to track movement, they reported more than eight hours of couch time.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week to prevent disease, maintain strong bones and muscles, and increase longevity.
The CDC says one way you can fend off premature death is by taking between 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day. According to the Mayo Clinic, the average American gets between 3,000 to 4,000 steps in a day.
How many steps do you take in a day? Health Digest’s exclusive survey is now shedding light on how many of us meet that 10,000-step goal.
Most people don’t reach an optimal step goal
More than 27% of 583 responses said they logged an average of between 5,000 and 7,500 steps daily. According to the CDC, this is close to the optimal range for adults over 60 years old. Almost 26% of people fell within the CDC’s recommended range for people under 60 by trekking 7,500 to 10,000 steps daily. The survey showed that almost 24% of people walked between 1,000 to 5,000 steps each day, and about 8% of people reported walking less than 1,000 steps per day. Some people — 15% of respondents — go above the 10,000-step goal daily.
The Mayo Clinic suggests finding the optimal step goal for you based on how many steps you currently take per day. If you walk less than 5,000 steps each day, you can increase your daily stride count by 1,000 every two weeks. You can add more steps to your everyday activities by choosing parking spaces further from your destination, adding a walk break into your work day, or making a daily walk a family activity.