Are All Steps Created Equal?

We are underway at the office with our second exercise challenge. Each of us has set a personal weekly fitness goal, tracking our progress with stars on a chart—quite basic but effective.

Initially, my goal was some combination of 10,000 steps, a 90-minute yoga class or a 60-minute gym session 5 days a week. To help motivate me and based on the recommendation of a patient, I got myself a pedometer call the FitBit ( It helps me track my steps, physical activity and if desired, calories, weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and sleep. It is simple, easy to use, relatively inexpensive and highly recommended.

I began tracking my average daily steps when not exercising and found that simply by walking around the office, to and from my car, about the house and other minor events, I take between 4-5,000 steps in a day. According to a NY Times article, this is right in line with the average most Americans get on a daily basis.

The question struck me: if one of my goals is to take the recommended 10,000 steps in a day, could I, in good faith, count the trips from my office to the medicinary and back as exercise?

We know from studies that regular physical activity is essential for heart, bone and metabolic health, and from personal experience that it enhances mood, sleep and energy. So what exAccording to a article, this is right in line with the then, is no, all steps are not created equal. As a result, I refined my exercise goal to state 10,000 exercise steps versus just 10,000 steps in order to encourage the muscle contraction, heart beating and sweat producing activities that qualify as exercise.

And you? How many steps do you take in a day? What are your fitness goals?

If you are in need of inspiration to exercise and have not already watched the short video, The Single Best Thing We Can Do For Our Health, I highly recommend that you do so.

—Dr. Korza

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