Ignore that app, 10000 steps may actually be harmful

Without any scientific evidence base, how do you know that any of these apps are good for you?

But Gregory Hager, a professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University in America, wants to burst our bubble. "What's big about 10,000?" he said, according to Sky News. The bottom line is that 10,000 steps may be too many for some and too few for others.

There are more than 150,000 health care programs that we can install on our smartphone, but none of them are scientifically proved, says Dr. Hager, and now there are a lot of dedicated devices, like the fitness bracelets that don't help us at all.

Fitbit ambassador and former Olympian, Greg Whyte, said: "As 10,000 steps equates to around five to six miles, which will take around two hours, it is a daily target and not necessarily a single exercise session target".

The number of healthcare apps has soared in recent years, with more than 165,000 health-related apps available on the Apple store, including ones that offer to monitor blood pressure, calculate insulin doses for diabetics and encourage mindfulness exercises.


Hager said the figure came from the 1960s in Japan when they found an average Japanese man walking 10,000 steps burnt about 3,000 calories. "They may even be harmful", he said.

"Is that the right number for any of you in this room?" We are separate individuals and have different needs, so believing that the more we exercise, the better we feel or reaching a target scheduled by a device, might not be the safest way to stay fit. That might mean having a conversation with your doctor, physical therapist, or fitness instructor and then using your fitness tracker to help you achieve those goals - not trying to achieve some blanket goal set by your tracker.

Dr Hager went on to add that he thinks these apps could be potentially damaging, doing more harm than good. But if you push too hard, too soon, you might be going beyond what is healthy. Children are also thought to need more than 10,000 steps a day.

This way they would more accurately have a "common sense" element built in, and helping to increase the chance that they "first do no harm".

Steve Flatt, director of Psychological Therapies Unit in London said: 'Currently, I would say that the world of apps is in the equivalent stage of the 1860's wild west - everyone sees a gravy train and are not hesitating to jump on board even if there is little of no evidence of utility, on the basis that there is a vast amount of money to be made'. "We need to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater", one of the authors, Professor John Jakicic, told The Guardian.

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