10,000 Steps is the Biggest Scam of Our Generation

By Zoe Weiner | WELL + GOOD

There is an undeniable sense of accomplishment when your FitBit or iPhone step tracker hits 10,000. Because: You did it! You’ve reached your activity goal, and can file the day away as a successfully active one. Except there’s one problem: That whole “10,000 steps” answer to the question of how many steps to take in a day is actually kind of a scam.

Yup—you read that right. The number was developed in the 1960s by a Japanese walking club while they were producing a step-counting device with a name that roughly translated to “10,000 steps meter.” They marketed the tool using the slogan: “Let’s walk 10,000 steps a day,” and clearly—if our collective FitBit obsession is any indiction—that number stuck.

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