10000 Steps: how to burn more calories without breaking a sweat

Can you do 10000 steps a day? Take half and you are good average.

It’s amazing how little exercise we get away with in everyday life. Sports? Is not enough.

10.000 steps correspond to what experts say in species-appropriate human behavior understand.1

Most of our fellow human beings only manage to walk 1.500-5.000 steps a day.

If they hadn’t voluntarily chosen this lifestyle, it would be a case for Amnesty International:

Movement is a human right!

I was really surprised by this new study from Sweden. My forehead still wrinkles at this result. Core Statement:

Regular exercise won’t protect you from the risks of a ‘sedentary’ lifestyle if your muscles spend the other 95% of the day lying on your lazy skin.

Are you going to take this lying down … and Get you seated?

It’s amazing how much fun more exercise can be in everyday life, and how easy it can be. Even for sports fans.

I played the guinea pig for you and found some unusual solutions:

  • Why should you walk 10000 steps a day at all??
  • A simple zero-willpower trick to motivate you to exercise more in your daily life.
  • Buying advice: How to find the right activity tracker
  • 7 simple strategies for more exercise in everyday life – even if you don’t have the time.

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Why you should walk 10000 steps a day

Scientists recommend two and a half hours of exercise or 10000 steps per day.

My first thought:

"10000 steps..? No subject! Hey, at least I’m an athlete."

I don’t know about you, but I would have signed this without reservation before my experiment – and lulled myself into a false sense of security.

10000 steps: Here’s what science says

Nothing against sports. It helps, I like the idea.

One hour of exercise is not enough if you spend the remaining 23 hours sitting down.

The study from Sweden mentioned at the beginning underlines that. The researchers studied men and women who exercised at least every other day – which is more than most in this country.

What they found was this:

Despite regular training, the muscles remain unused for 70% of the day.

This sedentariness not only adversely affects fat metabolism, scientists say, it can also make people ill.2

The scientists recommend: Get more exercise, especially in everyday life.

"So these test persons, how posh!", I think, "let’s see how much more I move."

No sooner said than done. I buy a Fitbit and measure.

The scene that unfolded at the end of the first day was something like this: With a triumphant smile, I pull the Fitbit out of my back pocket.

The display lights up and … no, it can’t be.

The device is broken! 5321 steps? I?

The Fitbit is NOT broken: without exercising, some days I get to just 4.000 to 6.000 steps. My sporting ambition is ignited.

"From today you change something!"

Why more exercise in everyday life? The World Health Organization recommends 10000 steps a day, because it makes you ..

  • … easier to stay slim.
  • … you are less likely to develop diabetes, heart attacks, osteoporosis and cancer.
  • … you can get healthy if you had diabetes type 2, aching limbs or depression.
  • … lose weight even more easily: Walking is cardio exercise.
  • … more efficient and fitter.
  • … simply feel better.
  • … 2.000-3.can burn an extra 500 calories a week.

Little things make a lot of crap:

In passing you can burn about as many calories in a week as are stored in 500 grams of fat (2 packets of butter).

So walking, hiking, going to the copy machine and coffee machine help you burn fat just as much as high-intensity interval training.

In fact, very few of us have a sense of how much – or. how little – they move outside of sports.

10000 steps: That’s what the statistics say

How many steps do we Germans manage per day? If you were to be a letter carrier, you did some things right:

  • A call center agent comes to 1.200 steps,
  • A manager reaches 3.000 steps.
  • A salesman walks 5.000 steps.
  • A mailman still gets 15.000 steps a day.

And how much do our international friends move?

  • A U.S. citizen gets 5.117 steps a day.
  • Japanese create 7.168 steps,
  • Swiss after all 9.650,
  • the Australian comes with 9.695 very close to the finish line.
  • A South African walks an average of 10.594 steps a day, which is close to the recommendations of health experts.

The advantage of everyday exercise: We don’t take it as Sports or physical activity perceived.

Think about the last time you spent an afternoon shopping in the pedestrian zone or going for a sightseeing walk.

You will be amazed how easy it is to collect more steps this way than running a 10 km race. An activity tracker helps you replace discipline with fun.

Activity tracker: Your "fun instead of discipline" fitness trainer

We humans are phenomena.

Although we know very well that a 10-minute walk to the bakery would do us good, many of us take the car. The laziness center in our cerebrum is incredibly creative in whispering excuses to us:

"It looks like rain, I’d rather take the car"."

"It’s faster by car, I can’t keep my loved ones waiting after all."

"Today I’ll drive, but next time I’ll really walk"!"

We are true masters at tricking ourselves. But with a simple trick, you make a strength out of this supposed weakness:

It’s a zero-willpower trick that helps you burn more fat in everyday life.

After all, we can be tricked just as easily in the other direction:

If you black on white see that you could move more, you think about it.

This new awareness is the critical first step to a healthier lifestyle.

You start to shrug off cars, escalators and elevators and more movement in everyday life becomes more and more a habit.

At the latest, when you say for every walk rewarded become, you change your behavior.

Activity trackers from Garmin, Jawbone or Fitbit take advantage of this: They measure your physical activity, send the data to the cloud, clearly evaluate the data via an app and hand out virtual medals.

Sounds like fun stuff, and that’s what it is: incredible motivating Play stuff.

From the 50-story "helicopter badge" to the kilometer medal, there’s actually always something to celebrate.

When I pick up my Fitbit One, it greets me with a "Rock on, Mark!", "Movement, Mark!" or "Let’s go, Mark!"

Sometimes I wonder who is whose Tamagotchi here…?

How to find the right activity tracker

If you’re also flirting with an activity tracker, there’s something important you should ask yourself before you buy:

  • Want to wear the tracker around your wrist – so everyone can see it?
  • Or should it rather disappear discreetly in your pocket?

In recent years, the market has been just about activity trackers floods – everyone wants one.

For some devices, the "readings" are more like estimates, but there are bright spots, too. I’ve pored over some reviews and picked out three interesting devices for you.3456

The featured activity trackers provide good readings and automatically sync data via Bluetooth with your iOS or Android phone. You can also evaluate sleep quality (but this is very inaccurate).

Fitbit One: The discreet one

If you prefer to wear your activity tracker undercover, the Fitbit One is the way to go.


  • Spot on. Very accurate step measurement.
  • High altitude rush. The integrated altimeter counts the floors climbed very precisely.
  • Secret agent. Can easily be worn in a pocket or under clothing.
  • On Schedule. Integrated alarm clock (vibration alarm).
  • Illuminated. Easy-to-read display with motivational messages.
  • Intuitive. Very successful data preparation via browser and Fitbit app.
  • Motivating. There is a large community of Fitbit users who support each other and engage in friendly competition.
  • Polyglot. Syncs with Windows PC’s, Windows Phone and Mac as well.
  • Enduring. The battery lasts 1-2 weeks.


  • Splash-proof, but not waterproof.

Notice: Unfortunately, the Fitbit One is no longer manufactured. I recommend the Fitbit Charge 2 instead.

  • Count your daily activities such as steps, distance, calories burned, floors and active minutes
  • Purepuls heart rate: continuous, automatic, heart rate measurement via wrist, without uncomfortable chest strap.
  • Use multi-sport tracking to record specific workouts (running, biking, weights and more)

Alternatives: The also accurately measuring Fitbit Charge HR (ca. 150 Euro) is worn around the arm. It also records the pulse via an optical system, although not quite as precisely as a good pulse watch.6 The still available Fitbit Flex (approx. 100 Euro) I do not recommend because of its inaccurate measurement.3 If you want more features, you should check out the Fitbit Surge (approx. 220 euros) take a look. Activity tracker accurately measures steps, has GPS on board, measures heart rate and offers rudimentary smartwatch features (SMS, music playback, call control).7

Jawbone UP24: The health risk?

Jawbone Up2

While most activity trackers are rather inconspicuous and neutral, the Jawbone UP2 is a fashion accessory. Whether the bracelet is beautiful or not, is in the eye of the beholder – as always with jewelry.

Since the wristband is contaminated with plasticizers according to Stiftung Warentest, there is no purchase recommendation for this activity tracker.


  • Striking. Fits to the evening dress. Well processed.
  • Fit. Available in 2 colors.
  • Relatively accurate. Precise measurement, but not quite as accurate as Fitbit.
  • Enduring. The battery lasts approx. 1 week.
  • Motivator. The built-in vibration motor reminds you to stand up.
  • Gentle alarm clock. Wakes you up (allegedly) only in light sleep phases.
  • Intuitive. Good iOS and Android apps. Easy to use.


  • Striking. Who does not like the design, will not be happy with the Jawbone UP2.
  • Smartphone only. Does not synchronize with PC’s.
  • Polluted. According to Stiftung Warentest, the bracelet contains the plasticizer DEHP, which can negatively affect hormone balance and reproductive ability.6

  • Monitor your sleep: hours total rest, time to compromise and time of awakening Night works like an alarm clock
  • Activity tracker: steps, distance, calories, active and inactive phases.
  • Easy to share, collaborate or compete with friends

Alternatives: Unfortunately, Stiftung Warentest also found harmful substances in the wristband of the Jawbone UP3, the big sister of the UP2 also measures resting heart rate.

Garmin Vivofit 4: The good all-rounder

If you’re looking for a technically well-rounded wristband, the Garmin Vivofit 4 might be the right choice for you.

Step measurement is very accurate and the two replaceable button batteries are supposed to last a year, according to the manufacturer.

The design is of course a matter of taste. In any case, you should like it, because an activity tracker you want to like to wear.


  • Spot on. Very accurate step measurement.
  • Distanced. Quite accurate distance measurement via step length input.
  • Cordial. Heart rate measurement via optional pulse belt possible.
  • Significantly. Well readable color display.
  • Intuitive. Good browser and app software.
  • Robust. Resistant to water, heat and can be dropped from time to time.
  • Smartphone not required. Also syncs with PC’s.
  • Relentless. The batteries should last 1 year.


  • Striking. If you don’t like the design, you won’t be happy with the Garmin Vivofit.

Garmin vIvofit 4 fitness tracker, customizable color display, slim design, up to 1 year battery life

  • Fitness tracker with high wearing comfort in a slim, narrow design with backlit color display and permanent display
  • Record steps, calculate distance, calories burned and sleep analysis as well as Move IQTM – automatic time tracking of activities like espw. Walking, running, swimming and cycling
  • Personalizable with individual display designs, color themes and individual texts as well as Find My Phone function and weather information

Alternatives: The Garmin Vivosmart for ca. 150 Euro has a touch screen and offers some functions to control your smartphone. Its battery lasts just under a week.

Smartphone apps: The cheap alternative?

Stepz Activity Tracker Pedometer

An interesting alternative to the activity tracker are smartphone apps that use your phone’s accelerometer. In the meantime, several activity tracker apps have been released for both iOS and Android.

However, this solution also has some weighty disadvantages ..


  • Integrated. Current smartphones can count steps.
  • Close. You probably have your smartphone with you most of the time.
  • Cheap. You save the investment in an extra device.


  • Estimates. In a comparative test by the magazine c’t, the inaccuracy of the iOS and Android apps was criticized. The deviation was up to 18.
  • Battery Vampires. The apps are obviously relatively thirsty and make your battery die faster.
  • Discipline. Hand on heart: do you feel like really having your phone on your body all day long? Even when you go to get coffee? The idea of an activity tracker is that you don’t need any discipline. You plug it in and you can forget about it. I, for one, would often leave the phone and lose the fun of it.

If you still want to try it with an app for the time being and have a iOS device you should work with Stepz launch.

Android Fans should take a look at pedometer& Throw weight loss trainer.

Q&A: Do you need an activity tracker if you have a smartwatch??

Apple Watch

An activity tracker really comes into its own when it’s paired with a smartphone. Once connected, the associated app evaluates your measurement data, interprets and translates it into clear graphs.

If you already own a smartwatch, you can do without an activity tracker in principle – current devices come with the step counting function right away. Some models also measure your pulse. My Apple Watch measures heart rate during workouts almost as accurately as a good exercise computer.8

Are we already connected via Fitbit or Twitter?? Then you know I continue to have my Fitbit on my man – despite my Apple Watch. That’s because I don’t want to miss out on motivational challenges with other keepers – they help me keep at it.

If, like me, you have a soft spot for technology and number-data-facts, then I’m convinced:

You have fun with an activity tracker and automatically move more.

Then you go back out the door late at night when the display shows you have only 1.000 missing to complete the 10000 steps.

The following 7 strategies will help you to achieve the 10000 steps with ease – every day.

7 simple strategies for more exercise in everyday life – even if you don’t have the time

In the time with activity tracker one thing has become clear to me. It’s really easy to get you moving more in your everyday life – without effort, without sweating, without investing more time.

These 7 habits will help you collect more steps:

  1. If you take the bus or train, get off one stop before your destination and walk.
  2. Leave the elevator and escalator behind and take the stairs.
  3. Go for a walk, z.B. during lunch break or in the evening. (In 30 minutes you can do at least 3.000 steps)
  4. Leave the car behind. Go shopping on foot.
  5. Take the bike for longer distances (30 minutes of biking is 2.500 steps worth).
  6. Instead of sitting down to read, buy an audiobook (you can find my audiobook recommendations here) and "read" it while taking a walk.
  7. How about walking for a change instead of sitting?? I’ve been using a treadmill desk for a few years now to get more exercise in the office.

In the meantime, I find myself enjoying the things in my everyday life that I used to have to get up and do.

Take out the trash? Good opportunity to collect 2 floors and 100 steps. Today or rather tomorrow to the post office? Today. 2.Have or not have 000 steps.

My Fitbit One has been with me for years. However, I am always amazed at how he still motivates me every day to make the 10000 full.


If you are like many people who stick to their guns, regular exercise is already part of your weekly routine. That’s good!

If you spend much of the day sitting and your muscles have nothing to do 95% of the time … let me put it this way – there’s still something going on. And do it without sweating and without spending extra time.

It’s really easy to get lazy in your daily routine and wait for the elevator, use the escalator or the car like most others do. In my experience, if you enjoy technology and once athletic ambition has taken hold of you, it’s just as easy to "walk by" 5.Collecting 000 extra steps a day and the 10.000 full.

So give it a whirl, get an activity tracker, and be surprised at how many steps you’re already taking per day today.

Question of the week: How many steps do you take in a day?? Do you already use an activity tracker? What strategies casually help you move more in your daily life? Write a comment.

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