It turns out the 10,000 steps rule could be a load of rubbish.

In excellent news for those of us who don’t come anywhere near meeting a 10,000 step count each day (ahem, me), it turns out it could all be a load of BS.

Yes – it’s all (possibly) a filthy, filthy lie and we want our steps back, damnit.

How do we know this? A very reliable health industry source who invented a little thing called the 5:2 Diet, which has pioneered the intermittent fasting trend practised by so many walking among us, probably trying to get to their 10,000 steps a day.

Fitness expert Natalie Carter explains the signs of exercise burnout and how to avoid it. Post continues after video.

British journalist and physician Dr Michael Mosley published the much-praised 5:2 Diet six years ago, which involves reducing your calorie intake to just 500-600 calories on two ‘fasting’ days, and eating normally for the other five.

The diet has been a hit amongst researchers, medical and fitness experts, and celebrities, who claim it has a variety of health benefits including weight loss, reversal of type 2 diabetes – which Mosley himself has been diagnosed with – and an increased metabolism.

So, we guess the man knows his stuff.

This morning, while appearing on Studio 10 to discuss his new rapid weight loss programme, Fast 800, Mosley dropped the steps bombshell, certifiably blowing minds around the nation.

is walking enough exercise
10,000 steps are cancelled - an expert says it could all be rubbish. Image: Getty.

"It's about activity, not about exercise," he said. "Finding something you can stick to. It could be dancing or walking up the stairs. And I have to tell you this 10,000 steps is complete nonsense.”

Complete nonsense.

And there's proof.

Throwing weight behind his claim - Mosley and researchers from Sheffield Hallam University actually conducted an experiment where a group of volunteers took the recommended 10,000 steps a day, and another took three brisk 1-minute walks per day (amounting to approximately 3,000 steps).

The study found the group who took the 10,000 steps not only struggled to meet their goal, but were breaking less than a sweat compared to those doing the “Active 10”. In fact, it was found they achieved 30 per cent more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity despite moving for less time.

So where does this "10,000 steps" obsession come from? Why this exact number? We demand to know who is responsible.

According to computer science expert Dr Greg Hager, it could all be based on a single study carried out in Japan 50 years ago.

“Some of you might wear Fitbits or something equivalent, and I bet every now and then it gives you that cool little message 'You did 10,000 steps today,'" Hager told the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

"Turns out in 1960 in Japan they figured out that the average Japanese man, when he walked 10,000 steps a day, burned something like 3,000 calories and that is what they thought the average person should consume. So they picked 10,000 steps as a number."


We guess this means we can stop packing sneakers in our work bags to pop on with our corporate wear for the walk home and opt for a higher-intensity workout instead.

Finally, an end to this madness.