Walking Toward a New Me: The Impact of Prescribed Walking 10,000 Steps/Day on Physical and Psychological Well-Being

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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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×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.

Morgan and Snyder are with the Dept of Kinesiology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH. Tobar is with the Dept of Sport Management, Recreation, and Tourism, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH.