Walking toward a new me: the impact of prescribed walking 10,000 steps/day on physical and psychological well-being

J Phys Act Health. 2010 May;7(3):299-307. doi: 10.1123/jpah.7.3.299.


Purpose: To determine whether individuals participating in a program designed to accumulate 10,000 steps/ day demonstrate health, fitness and psychological benefits.

Methods: Sedentary individuals (22 F, 7 M; age 59.8 +/- 5.78 yr) were randomly assigned into a walking (W, n = 14) or control (C, n = 15) group. Following baseline assessment, the W group was given a daily plan to reach 10,000 steps/day within 3 weeks and asked to maintain this level for 12 weeks; the C group was asked to maintain their current activity. Participants were evaluated for cardiovascular endurance, resting and postexercise HR, functional ability, cholesterol, psychological well-being, and exercise self-efficacy before and following the 15-week program.

Results: Significant changes over time were noted between groups (G x T; P < .05) with the W group demonstrating improvements in postexercise HR (-6.51%), total cholesterol (TC: -7.74%), and personal growth (2.53%). While not statistically significant, the W group also demonstrated improvements in 6 min walk distance (2.32%), total/HDL ratio (-10.09%), 8 foot up-and-go time (-3.35%), chair stands (6.17%), flexibility (128%), and environmental mastery (4.54%).

Conclusion: A 15-week program aimed at accumulating 10,000 steps/day improves cardiovascular performance and personal growth and also positively influences many variables that are indicators of health, fitness and psychological well-being.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Aged
  • Directive Counseling*
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Status*
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Time
  • Walking / physiology*