According to the results of many studies, a healthy adult performs between 7,000 and 13,000 steps every day.
For example, researchers reported that on days when the participants in their study did not engage in physical activity, they made about 7400 steps. In another study, this average was about 6000 steps per day. Finally, totally inactive people make between 2000 and 4000 steps a day.
In general, researchers agree that a moderate 30-minute walk is between 3000 and 4000 steps for a healthy adult. If we consider that 6000 to 7000 steps constitute the average number of steps in a day, the addition of 30 minutes of walking would give 9000 to 11000 steps per day.
The target of 10,000 steps per day is therefore the target for the general population. It has also been shown that the majority of people who achieve this goal have a BMI that is among the values considered normal. However, obese people should aim at between 15,000 and 18,000 steps per day to obtain a significant effect on the loss and / or maintenance of weight.
Sources: Tudor-Locke, C., Myers, A.M., Bell, R.C. et al. (2002). Preliminary outcome evaluation of the First Step Program: a daily physical activity intervention for individuals with type 2 diabetes.
Tudor-Locke, C. & Myers, A.M. (2001). Challenges and opportunities for physical activity in sedentary adults.