Whether you’re already a regular counter or even have an app on your smartphone which records every step you take, your step count is a good indicator of how much you move your body each day.
If you’re currently not monitoring this though, it’s worth considering exactly how many steps medical professionals recommend we take each day to help support our bodies’ physical health.
To help make this a little easier for you, we’ve included three different sections on the recommended step count for each stage of life.
The recommended daily step count for:
Why is it important to reach your recommended daily step count?
Moving our bodies regularly has innumerable benefits, from improving our circulation and heart health to supporting weight loss and lowering the risk of certain chronic diseases.1,2,3
Measuring your activity levels by steps is a great way to ensure you’re getting enough physical exercise each and every day.
As well as general walking, other things such as aerobic workouts, running or yoga all count towards your daily step count.
Have an active job where you’re on your feet most of the day? That counts, too.
You may have been told that 10,000 steps a day are ideal.
While that’s a good amount to aim for, more or fewer steps might be a better fit for you depending on certain factors such as your age, health or physical ability – so the guidance we’re providing is purely an estimate.
In order to get the most out of your walks, discover the importance of stretches plus some of the best to include in your daily routine in our article: Why Is Flexibility Important?
A guide to recommended steps per day by age
Wondering exactly how many steps you should be taking per day for your age? Here’s a basic guide to daily step counts by age:4
Recommended daily step counts for under 18s
As a general rule, the younger you are the more steps you tend to need to do.
This is largely based on walking around during the school day, taking part in P.E classes and simply having fun with your friends and family!
Once kids have learnt to walk properly and their bones have fully developed, they’ll want to aim for a minimum of 6,000 to 15,000 steps a day.
This should be on the higher end if your kids regularly play sports, run around the playground or are just generally very active.4
However, it is super important for us to note that even experts can’t decide on one particular ‘magic’ number of steps for an age group.5
Plus, what’s right for one adolescent may not be the same for another, as we’re all built differently and have different needs.
Recommended daily steps for adults
As soon as you reach adulthood, your daily step count will likely lower naturally as you enter the workforce or become a student.
10,000 steps is still a good figure to aim for, however, if your step count is closer to 6,000, that’s okay, too. Like we said, it’s all individual.
For example, if you’re living with a medical condition that affects your abilities, it’s best to check in with a doctor to determine the best course of action for you.
Otherwise, if you’re generally healthy, you regularly hit the gym or you’re trying to lose some weight, aim to reach over 12,000 each day where possible.
Recommended daily steps for adults over 65
As you get older, it is generally accepted that your bones become more fragile and your fitness may decline.
However, lots of people well into their 60s, 70s and even 80s remain active, whether it’s through jogging, hiking or even dancing!
As with every other age group, reaching your daily step count is important, so it’s worth aiming for somewhere between 3,000 and 10,000 steps depending on your current activity levels and general health.
Concerned about aches and pains that make it harder to get going with your steps? Check in with one of our expert advisors for a joint and bone health consultation.
5 top tips
If you work in an office or spend most of your day sitting down indoors, don’t despair. There are various things you can do to get your step numbers up.5
Great ways to increase your step count
Going for a walk every day
Fitting in a daily walk is a great way to boost your step count. During the week, try to spend half of your lunch hour outdoors strolling in the fresh air.
Using a standing desk
Those of you who work in an office might struggle to fit in your daily step count, especially if you commute by car.
Having a standing desk is a great way to keep your muscles active, plus you can walk on the spot as you work to get your steps up.
Taking the stairs
Whether you work in a high-rise building or you’re simply popping to the shops, taking the stairs instead of a lift or an escalator is a great way to up your daily steps.
Pacing when you’re on the phone
If you have to take phone calls for work or you simply love to natter with your friends and family, try standing up and pacing the room as you chat.
Parking further away
Whether you’ve driven to the shops or to work, try parking your car slightly further away each day so you have to walk for a little bit longer to reach your destination.
If you want to go one up, consider walking all the way from your house if you live nearby
What are the benefits of walking daily?
If you’ve ever wondered, ‘Is walking good for you?’ then take a look at the benefits below.
Believe it or not, there are a fair few pluses to walking, here are some of the most common ones:
Keen to maintain good overall health so you can keep up with your recommended daily step count?
Remember that walking is just one part of the equation.
Making sure you’re fuelling your body with the right foods and staying hydrated is equally as important.
If you’re interested in upping your step count in order to aid your weight loss goals, speak to one of our health experts for information on the specific step count for you.
Dr Zoe Williams: A GP’s guide to staying fit and healthy
Dr Zoe Williams, perhaps best known as one of the resident GPs on This Morning, has a warm chat with fellow GP Gemma where they discuss:
- The importance of lifestyle medicine
- Tips on how exercise can lift your mood
- Dr Zoe's ingredients for success
Dr Zoe Williams: A GP’s guide to staying fit and healthy
The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
Last updated: 10 June 2022