Seven hacks to get 10,000 steps a day – without leaving your home

In lockdown, it can be hard to incorporate enough movement into your day. Walking from the fridge to your desk doesn’t really rack up many steps.

In fact, with so many people now working from home, we are facing a crisis of inactivity.

Studies have found that the average Brit sits for 9.5 hours a day, and that was before the pandemic hit. And the impact on our physical and mental health shouldn’t be underestimated.

Chronic inactivity can contribute to burnout and anxiety. It can also cause musuloskeletal problems, with more people recording aches and pains in their neck, back and shoulders than ever before.

Not to mention the impact on our eyes that comes with staring at screens for large parts of the day.

Thankfully, Tim Harrison, and MD at WatchPilot has put together some tips for anyone to achieve their 10,000 steps a day – without leaving their house.

These estimates are on the basis that the average person walks 80 steps per minute:

Walk up and down the stairs 42 times

1,000 steps, 12 minutes 30 seconds 

The average staircase has 12 steps. At an average of 80 steps per minute, you can easily get 1,000 steps done in a quarter of an hour, by going up and down the staircase 42 times – 84 trips in total. 

And if you want to go faster, speed walking or running will burn even more calories. If you don’t have any stairs, you can just do 84 laps of either your balcony or your hallway, in the time it takes a pizza to cook in the oven.

It will also help your sleep – one study found that 10 minutes of stair-walking was more energising than a cup of coffee.

Fake your commute by walking to a podcast

3,200 steps, 40 minutes

The average podcast length is 37 minutes, which is arguably less than many of our pre-covid commutes.

If you round that up to 40 minutes, walking at 80 steps per minute, you can walk up and down your garden, hallway, or the length of your house, while listening to a podcast. It will keep you distracted, and listening to podcasts on our morning commute is something many of us did anyway. 

Not a podcast fan? Pop the radio on, or your current Netflix show, and just do your steps in the living room while watching it, to distract yourself.

Do this before work and you’ll have more energy throughout the day.

If you’re a massive podcast addict, why not double up and do it at the end of the day too? 

Do 500 steps before each meal

1,200 steps – 15 minutes  

One of the biggest constants in lockdown has been food. We’ve structured our days around it, and look forward to it more than ever. 

Five minutes before you eat or start prepping your meal, why not quickly do 500 steps around the house or the garden?

It will only take a maximum of five minutes, depending on your speed. 

Do 250 steps every working hour

2,250 steps, 3 minutes X9 

If you have a smart watch, you’ll be familiar with the buzzing to alert you every hour to get up and move.

250 steps takes approximately 3 minutes to do. And experts recommend us getting a screen break every 40 minutes, doing this every hour will not only help your cardiovascular system, but also your eyes.

Do this 9-5, don’t overdo it.

Tea break stroll

960 steps, 3 minutes X4

The average kettle takes around three minutes to boil, and we’re drinking more hot beverages during the winter months.

When you’re waiting for the water to boil, do your steps, either on the spot or by strolling around the kitchen.

If you want to up the steps, you could do one extra minute of walking while waiting for the tea to brew. 

Have a walk-and-talk break

1,200 steps – 15 minutes a day

Whether you live with others or live alone, this one can work.

To break up the day, walk with your housemate around the garden or down the hallway, to catch up on how your day is going.

It will help improve your mood and reduce stress, and a 15-minute walk can give you a chance to clear your mind.

If you live alone, why not buddy up with a friend and do your walking when you’re chatting on Zoom or Facetime?  

Housework counts too 

400 steps – 5 minutes a day

You’re probably already doing this one without realising it.

Just five minutes of vacuuming, mopping, mowing the lawn or window cleaning will get you at least 400 steps. 

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