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Are 10,000 steps enough to prevent weight gain?
For several years, 10,000 steps a day have been the standard target for people who want to prevent weight gain or improve their general health, for example. Researchers have now found that the number of steps alone is not enough to prevent weight gain.
The latest research from Brigham Young University found that walking 10,000 steps a day is not enough to prevent weight gain. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "Journal of Obesity".
How did the study work?
For the research work, 120 students took part in a step counting experiment in the first six months of their studies. The volunteers ran either 10,000, 12,500 or 15,000 steps a day, 24 days a week, six days a week, while the researchers monitored their calorie intake and weight.
Weight gain despite 15,000 steps a day?
The aim of the study was to investigate whether progressively exceeding the recommended number of steps of 10,000 steps a day would minimize the weight and fat gain in the beginning of the study. Ultimately, it did not matter whether the people took more than 15,000 steps because they still gained weight in part.
Participants gained an average of 1.5 kilograms
The participants in the study gained an average of about 1.5 kilograms over the entire study period. Previous studies show an average weight gain of one to four kilograms is common in college's first academic year.
Weight loss exercise?
Exercise alone is not always the most effective way to lose weight, the researchers report. Counting steps may have benefits in the form of more physical activity, but the results of the study have shown that this does not automatically lead to weight maintenance or prevention of weight gain.
How many steps did the participants take each day?
The participants wore a pedometer 24 hours a day during the six-week study window. On average, they walked about 9,600 steps a day before the study. At the end of the study, participants walked an average of 11,066 steps in the 10,000-step group, 13,638 steps in the 12,500-step group on average and 14,557 steps in the 15,000-step group on average.
Benefits from exercise
Although weight was not affected by the increased steps, there was a positive impact on movement patterns, which can have other emotional and health benefits.
Participants were more active and sat less
A positive, if not surprising, result of the study was that the time participants spent sitting was drastically reduced in both the 12,500 group and the 15,000 step group. In the group with 15,000 steps, the sedentary time was reduced by up to 77 minutes per day. (as)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Ciera L. Bartholomew, Caleb Summerhays, Landon Deru, Sharla Compton, Larry A Tucker et al .: The Impact of Step Recommendations on Body Composition and Physical Activity Patterns in College Freshman Women: A Randomized Trial, in Journal of Obesity (published 01.12. 2019), Journal of Obesity