Weight Management > Does 10,000 Steps A Day Help You Lose Weight?

Does 10,000 Steps A Day Help You Lose Weight?

4th Feb 19

It’s been common knowledge for decades that 10,000 steps a day are the ideal goal for people to keep fit and reach a healthy weight, and a whole range of other health benefits, but does it help you to lose weight?

The purpose of 10,000 steps was to ensure that people have a realistic target to work towards in their daily life to make sure that they are meeting their medical needs and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and that’s all well and good.

What 10,000 steps a day doesn’t take into account, though, is that everyone is different. The system has so many different variables that it’s hard to manage what you are doing and what more or less you need to be doing for your own best interests.

Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.


Group of people walking dressed formally

10,000 steps for the average person will burn around 500 calories per day, which does definitely have the potential to help you lose weight, and that is hard to dispute. The issue is, however, that 10,000 steps equate to around 5 miles per day. This can be much harder to achieve than people may first think unless they have an active job. Office work, in particular, can make this even more challenging, so is 10,000 steps a day on top of their working day the best way to go?

The world health organisation (WHO) recommends that everyone should be getting around 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise. It can be in whatever form you like, including walking, but you should aim for around that target. Unfortunately, 10,000 steps will take you at least over an hour per day, so this is relatively unsustainable.

NHS Active 10

Group of women walking through a park

The NHS recognised this and did some tests of their own. They combined these points to try and raise the idea of the active 10 scheme, which focuses on getting people to go on brisk walks three times a day, could quite easily have similar results to what the 10,000 steps were offering if the pace is good enough.


10,000 steps a day will likely result in you burning 500 calories a day, which will help you lose around a pound per week if this is maintained as your overall deficit. Maintaining the 10,000 steps may prove difficult, and it could be wiser to switch things up with different ways to exercise, but the steps will have their effect.

It’s always better to do something you enjoy rather than something boring, and this might be the problem with walking for you. Find what you enjoy and exercise how you like. Workout your way, walking or anything else you prefer. Anything is better than nothing! There are a few more things you can think about to reach your goals too, like those shown here.

Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.