How do people manage 10,000 steps a day?

Since getting a fit bit, I have only managed to hit 10,000 steps twice - once on a 4 mile walk and today after a brisk 20min walk at lunch and 2 hours of tennis... Both took a lot of time, how do people manage it every day?

Unfortunately my pedometer doesn't really register steps I take in the house (unless I've mastered teleportation without realising!) Which would help with step totals...


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40 Replies

  • Build walking into your routine. I walk before work (or run), about 40 mins and I also walk immediately after work to a station further away than necessary. Also about 40 mins (but shorter distance). The steps I do pottering about at work are recorded aswell. All in all I get an average of about 15,000 steps a day - which I'm pleased with. It's helped me lose weight. Started with this routine about 15 months ago and haven't regretted it. The only excuse for not walking is illness. 

  • Hi Cooper, I have the same problem, though I often do have the time 10,000 steps on my pedometer is almost 5 miles and even when I walk to places when I used to get the bus, It's still hard to reach that total. In a city it's not that pleasant, and it's hard to be speedy, so I often do 30 mins on an exercise bike instead. I now go on long day walks in the countryside but when I was working it was almost impossible. I find steps in my house are minimal, I live in such a small flat it's only about 2 steps to everything! I'll be interested in what others say.

  • It is tough when you have a desk job you drive to, and I agree city walking isn't great fun! Exercise bike is a good idea :)

  • I'm loving my exercise bike, only had it two weeks but can easily fit in 15 minutes a day 😊

  • I struggle as well - I'm working in a country with limited pedestrian areas & hot / humid summer months.

    I once tried the shopping mall walking maps they had in an attempt to get steps and found myself walking in circles for over 2 hours :-(  

    I find zumba helps to get a lot of steps in - otherwise I average about 5000/day

  • Yeah, exercise classes are pretty good because you feel like you're doing something to earn your steps! It must be hard to mall walk without spending money...

  • Hi Cooper, it's clearly a case of having or making time for it and upping your steps as you get fitter, which an be tough if you don't have the time...

    I did near enough 25k yesterday, a 3.5 mile walk first thing in the morning, an hour on the cross trainer in the evening and another 4.5 mile walk in the evening. Walking at a normal pace, no rush, I do about 3.5 miles in an hour...

    Also be warned, the fitbit's distance keeping isn't the most accurate, mine always is way out on the miles travelled compared to my GPS device... 

  • Wow that's a lot of miles! I think I'd struggle to fit that much walking in (she says sat on the couch binge-watching netflix). I guess I need to build up slowly, and I suppose my pace will pick up too.

    Suppose I should check how acvurate my pedometer is, you can calibrate it, but I've always just assumed it's right!

  • I find it relatively easy on weekdays when at work as I try my best to get up and move about. I also have a 2000 step walk down a hill from work (I cheat and get the bus in the morning as my train ticket covers it) I also do a cardio programme every night which is around 2000 steps, and then just general walking. 

    Weekends are a struggle and I try to take long walks. I have been off work last week and managed a 20,000 step day after going shopping and then a 4 mile walk, then cardio programme. 

    Maybe get your Fitbit checked out, Its 7:05am and I have been up since 5am and have pottered about the house and walked to the train station and have 1263 steps already. It should be counting all your steps. 

  • I just say fitbit because everyone knows what that is, but my tracker isn't quite so fancy! I think it's just a flaw with the design.

    I do wonder what I miss out on with it not picking up steps in the house... 

    well done on the daily cardio classes, they sound like good exercise!

  • Hi,

    You're doing great, Keep up the good work.

    What exactly does your cardio programme entail, just to get some idea. I walk everyday for an hour, weather permitting, & am trying to lose 2 stones, hopefully within the next few months, so that in myself I feel fitter. I have started swimming classes in Jan, & hopefully when I have achieved my goal, of not drowning, I will go to the pool more often. Zumba classes on You Tube I feel is good, unfortunately using my stability ball, with not much success is a downer but I will persevere & keep at it. I'm a person that never gives up as I try to focus on the end results

  • Unless you have an accurate pedometer it is difficult to record daily steps, although I walk daily the steps around the house/supermarket/garden really boost the total. 😊

    But the fact that you are increasing overall movement is good 😊 Keep up the good work! 

  • Yes, it's the little improvements that add up. It would be nice to know how much I burn off with housework though... might make the house cleaner!

  • Yep I am with Anna61 - focusing on increasing - is the name of the game.  I got a fit bit earlier this month - and that combined with the 20 000 leagues under the sea challenge has made me concentrate on moving more...but TBH - i am nowhere near the epic distances some of the others do.  On a routine day i am not up to 10000 steps - but working on it:-)

  • Yes, gradually seems to be the way to go. I have increased a bit (min was 2500 steps, now 3000 steps/day), so just have to keep working on it!

  • Yeah it's difficult some days...but I push myself to walk as much as I can !! It soon mounts up.

  • Pedometers of all sorts work differently for different people, it depends how you wear them and whether your gait is creating a rhythmic swinging motion in that place. My father has AS and consequently curved spine, has not yet found any device that notes his movement. A better target is just to see what your device records for you on average over a normal week. And next week try to make that average 500 steps more - till it becomes too time consuming. Don't forget that you may be doing other exercise that doesn't register - swimming/ yoga - but it is all making you healthier. Don't compare your steps on your device with someone else, just with you last week!

  • Yes, best not to look at others! Will just keep working on it.

  • Hi I don't have a Fitbit, but I use my faithful old WeightWatchers pedometer, which logs EVERY footstep inside the house or on a hike! I stand on my feet for 4 hours at a time at work and walk to work (1 mile). My pedometer logs every step and I regularly do 13,000 a day. I don't know how the Fitbit works, but have you set it correctly? I'm sure other peeps on here will be able to help you. Don't stress about it, bare in mind if you get upa nd move about more than you sit, you will be getting healthier.

  • I miss having a job that would keep me on my feet...

    I don't think there is a way to set correctly! Just put the battery in and go... Will look at the maker's FAQ's to check.

  • I think you have to make it part of your daily life. Could you park a distance from work and then walk the rest of the way, for example? Walk to the shops. It takes time, but we aren't evolved to be sedentary.

  • I park a little way from the office just now, although could park at the far end of the car park, and i pop out for a walk at lunch. Should find something else. I especially struggle if it's raining outside though... 

  • It depends how committed you are. Get a good coat. There's no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. You won't melt. I live in Wales, so I know x

  • Do you have a dog? I can't be unhappy when I'm walking with my pooch :)

  • No, I'd love a dog, but we work full time so it's not practical!

  • :( Never mind. There's other means.

  • I have taken to walking for 40 minutes after talking my child to school and that gives me 5000 steps before 10am.  I use a fitbit zip and think it's excellent for motivating me. I think 10,000 steps takes about 1.5hours walking on average.

  • Wow, you walk fast! I can just manage 6000 in an hour. I guess the thing is finding somewhere nice/new to walk so that hour and a half can be enjoyable.

  • Thanks! Although I don't feel very fast when super fit mums are jogging past me :)

  • Cooper27

    When I started I wondered how anyone would / could achieve this total, however I decided to do my own thing!

    I measured how far 10 steps took me the multiplied it out for a mile. Also I drove for 2 miles then over various walk averaged my various pedometers totals. In the end I decided that I do 2800 steps per mile on average.

    Armed with this I now simply measure the distance and multiply by 2800.

    I personally think that counting steps is negative as walking fast or up hills counts more than distance. I simply record it to ensure I get out and have a target to aim at.

    My target incidentally is 5000 steps per day whatever the surface or speed, so uphill or down counts the same as in my opinion I am doing something active.

    Finally if I jog or even run I double the step count as I can walk a mile but run it.......ha.

  • This is quite good, I agree it also matters what surface you're on. I suppose I could maybe just add extra steps to my total for activities in the house, so loading the dishwasher would be 30, sweeping 100 etc. I would just like it if housework counted in some way... If it's raining horizontally, it would motivate me to move more and have a cleaner house!

  • The only pedometer I ever found that works indoors is Walklogger (a free App with Android phones). That said I cant usually be bothered to carry my phone with me all the time.  I get about 7,000 a day on average walking out of doors. 

    I can't walk long distances without pauses because I have a very gammy left leg so I need lots of short walks. To help with this we reorganized things at work: now I have to walk  to collect things from the scanner/ printer, to go and see the software engineers or collect coffee and  I also always volunteer for  the product packing, warehouse jobs, the recycling and bin stuff. For some meetings we walk to a local coffee shop or walk and talk around the block.  All this adds up.  At gym before swimming or spinning I usually warm up for ten minutes on a treadmill. 

  • Thanks! It's really good to see how your work has adapted to help you all walk further! My office just started a walking challenge, so maybe I can suggest walking meetings too :)

  • I've always wondered about this. My boyfriend walks everywhere, and I mean everywhere as we have no car. He at times walks to the supermarket some distance away twice a day and back and still have never hit 10 000. He's fit and has been walking for a few years now (because he has no car loll). I feel the 10K steps is a tad unrealistic personally and I've given up because of how many steps are expected. I guess I will never get fit then!

  • That doesn't sound right to me! But it does seem hard, it's a thin line between pleasure and chore isn't it?

  • I agree it is a struggle. I work full time as a deskjockey and have to drive to work due to the location.

    The whole 10,000 steps thing actually started as a marketing idea to sell pedometers so I don't too hung up on it. I just concentrate on walking about 30 minutes every day. I probably walk 5 out of 7 days but on 2 days I usually walk for 1 - 3 hours.

    Try focussing on what you can do - 10 minutes a day is better than nothing.

  • That makes so much sense to me.  Like you say, some is better than none.  I can't believe how much everyone does here. It's a lot!! gosh 1 to 3 hours well done.

  • Thanks! I'm quite enjoying just waling a little more, you're right that anything is better than nothing. 

    Would make sense about the marketing...

  • It doesn't sound as though all your steps are registering. But to get more in your day, park a bit further away, get up and walk around any chance you get (e.g. go talk to someone in another office rather than send an email), even things like walking on the spot while standing in the kitchen or cleaning your teeth add up. 

    Fitbit credits me 19000 steps a day on average. I park a mile from work, walk 20 mins at lunchtime, use the stairs, walk around the office, and take my dog for 1 or 2 walks in the evening. I usually hit 10000 before any dog walks happen.

  • Yeah, I tried marching on the spot while doing dishes, but it didn't register the steps, so I dom't anymore. It's a good idea to park a mile from work, I'll have a look for anywhere I can park and walk from.

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