Bad news everyone! A new study out, that has received quite a bit of media attention, has called into question the 10,000 step-per-day guidelines. The authors have suggested that the real target should be around 15,000. It is important to note that even the author's admit this is a bummer.
The levels associated with zero risk factors in the present study, >15 000 steps per day or >7 h per day spent upright, would be challenging and difficult to sustain unless incorporated into occupations.
Although my phone isn't the best indicator of my overall step count (I don't have a wearable like Fitbit or other tool), it does some-what keep track of my steps. I am way... way... off. We have been extremely lazy when it has come to walking Audrey every day, now that we have a back yard that she can run around in and play. Maybe that is something we need to get back into doing on a bi-daily basis again.
The researchers had another interesting line in which they state, "adults do not necessarily compensate sedentary posture at work with upright posture after work." I translate that as, if you aren't active at work, you aren't likely to be active after work to make up for it. Not good!
So, how did they come up with the 15,000 mark? They looked at participants in the study who were diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome effects, such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess fat around the waist, and abnormal triglyceride levels. They determined that participants "with no metabolic syndrome features walked >15 000 steps per day or spent >7 h per day upright."
This is about the normal duration of a work day, which probably isn't a coincidence, considering most of the participants worked for the Royal Mail Group in Glasgow Scotland. I assume the actual mail-carriers were the most healthy, active participants, while office workers were the more unhealthy group.
After reading this, I am certainly going to get back into the habit of using my homemade Ikea standing desk, because it really is the least I can do to try to increase my upright time.