Last Updated on May 6, 2021 by Michael Brockbank
For a lot of people, getting 10,000 steps in a day isn’t really all that difficult. But for someone who works and plays from his desk, it’s often challenging. Especially when you’re dealing with demanding clients all day. So, I’ll have to set up a workable strategy.
Or, at least get back into the one I had before I had to move from Westminster. In 2019, I was averaging around 13,000 steps per day. What’s holding me back now?
A lack of commitment. But, that’s starting to change.
Why 10,000 Steps Per Day is My Goal
According to the data I track in a spreadsheet, because I’m a dork like that, 10,000 steps per day is ideal to hit my calorie-burn goal.
I know, a lot of people focus on 20,000 steps. But for someone like me who never leaves the house, freelances from his computer, and plays PC games for charity, I just can’t whip out 20k.
It’s More About Calorie Burn
Personally, I think too many people put so much emphasis on the number of steps to reach in a day. For me, it’s more about the calorie burn than the distance traveled.
But, 10,000 steps per day is a quantifiable number that you can see simply by looking at the Fitbit, or even your phone, if you have a step-tracking app.
So, even though I may not actually put one foot in front of the other 10,000 times, what the Fitbit registers as activity still matters.
I’ll explain in a moment.
Burn Twice as Much as I Eat
Part of my Net 600 Calorie Diet is to burn twice as much as I eat. And based on how much I consume in any given day, 10,000 steps per day virtually assures that I meet that goal.
Though, it also depends if I get snacky at night and pack on the carbs.
But overall, 10k is the sweet spot for me to lose around half a pound per day. This is all based on the data I collect on myself. Your results may vary, as everyone is unique.
How to Reach 10,000 Steps Per Day as a Desk Jockey
So, if you’re like me and really don’t get out very often to walk, how can you reach a certain number of steps each day? Well, that greatly depends on your imagination and what you’ll do to keep active.
The trick is to not think of anything as a chore. Gamify your steps and make it fun somehow.
The geek in me likes to track progress and see if I can break my “high score” while walking or exercising. But whatever works for you, find something that you enjoy and can keep doing over the long term.
1. Taking Regular Walking Breaks
Working from your desk or office space isn’t conducive to physical activity. For those of us who have such jobs, getting up and moving about is good for a myriad of reasons.
For me, it’s all about following my Ultradian Rhythm. In a nutshell, this is when you get into a specific groove for working a stretch of time and then taking a break.
In my situation, the best flow is working for 90 minutes, and then taking a 10 to 15-minute break to walk around the backyard.
And, I usually hit around 1500+ steps with every break. Especially if I have some good music playing.
2. The Right Playlist When Walking
When I was walking this morning, I noticed that my heart rate jumped up to 167 bpm. Now, that’s impressive just from a simple walk back and forth across the yard.
What I noticed most, though, is what influenced my pace. I was listening to “Welcome to the Jungle,” which was a great song to get me in the mood today.
In reality, music can influence your mood and behaviors. So, something like the right playlist can help energize and inspire you while walking. Usually, I lean on music that has a faster pace.
3. More Xbox and Bodyblade Time
OK, I told you I would explain movement versus steps per day with the Fitbit. While playing the Xbox, I can wrack up around 3,000 steps without leaving my living room. This is because the Fitbit is detecting vigorous movement while I play.
The same thing goes while using the Bodyblade. Though, I don’t get nearly as many steps with the Bodyblade as I do playing the Kinect.
The key point to this is that even though I’m not technically walking, the amount of calories I burn is quite a bit more overall. On an average, 3mph walk, I’ll burn around 9 calories per minute. When playing the Xbox Kinect, it can reach as high as 15.
And I find playing the Xbox and playing with the Bodyblade to be quite fun. That’s because of the dance routine I have with the Bodyblade. I don’t just stand there shaking a metal plank.
4. Vigorous House Cleaning!
Having a house full of animals and kids, there is no shortage of cleaning. But instead of viewing it as a chore, it’s more of a game to see how many calories I can burn per minute inside of a 20-minute cleaning session.
And yes, I track this in a spreadsheet, too.
You’d be amazed by what you can get done inside of 20 minutes. And the vigorous motion adds to my steps per day quite easily. Not only am I burning calories to lose the last of my weight, but my house is looking pretty nice most days.
This summer, I plan to add outdoor stuff like gardening and yard work. I’m looking forward to seeing how many calories I can burn working on my vegetables.
5. Planned Workout Breaks
I get incredibly busy throughout the day. Depending on the workload and if clients need hand-holding, there are days when I completely forget to eat breakfast.
To solve this issue, I plan specific times of the day when I can break away for about 10 minutes to do a few exercises. Even if it’s a few reps with the dumbbells or bouncing on the Swiss ball, it’s all about getting up and moving about.
This is in addition to the walks I take periodically throughout the day.
For instance, I have an alarm set for 10:00 am and 3:45 pm. These are the times when it’s best for me to get in a short exercise break. And they help me reach my goals of setting personal records.
What’s Your Goal Steps Per Day?
I know, you could just say that I need to get out more and be social. This would also contribute to the number of steps per day I can get. But, between a pandemic and not really having anywhere to go, I need to work with what I’ve got.
However, the above methods are what I use to reach 10,000 steps per day. And in the end, it really doesn’t matter as long as you’re working towards self-improvement.
And if you enjoy what you’re doing, who’s to say you’re doing it wrong?