Step count matters

“I work as a bricklayer’s apprentice which has me carrying things all over the site, mixing muck by hand and digging etc. Yet, according to my Fitbit, I never manage to take many steps. Is that a problem?” Good question. Tom Bainbridge, head tutor at the UK-based BTN Academy had the answer.

People who bike to work, push a child in a pram or work in a school as a teacher are all active but they might not get enough steps according to their watch. They are confused because they’ve heard/read that you are supposed to get 10,000 per day.

The amount of steps you take doesn’t actually matter. The number of steps is a rough approximation of your out-of-gym activity level which you can use to shift your energy expenditure up and down as/if needed. So don’t get hung up on it!

If you get, for example, 5000 steps per day that’s one piece of data. You can use that information as motivation to do more. But let’s say you are working an active job and you are taking 5000 steps. That’s two pieces of data, so you would need to consider both of those in making a decision.

Rather than focusing on your steps, focus on overall activity and lifestyle. If you have a couple of days where you don’t do much but that’s paired with several days where you move around a lot then that’s just fine and dandy.

So keep your step count in context. People were healthy LONG before we started counting our steps, and people will be healthy long after people stop doing it. It can be a useful tool but it’s not make or break.

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