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Do you really need to take 10,000 steps a day to keep fit?

Do you really need to take 10,000 steps a day to keep fit? - BBC NewsFitbit and other fitness trackers set a default goal of 10,000 steps a day. But just how valid is this aim if you’re trying to stay active?

Late in the day, as you take a step, your wrist starts buzzing. Congratulations. You’ve hit your target.

Fitbit, which is going public, makes wearable devices that track your fitness levels, such as calories burned and distance travelled. You can customise it, but the default goal is 10,000 steps each day.

That vibration as you reach the landmark figure is “oddly rewarding”, says Nath Buck, 26, a media support officer who has been using Fitbit for just over a year.

“I initially bought it purely out of curiosity to see how active I was,” he says. Now he’s convinced his flatmate and three colleagues to invest in similar gadgets and competes with them to see who can walk the furthest fastest.

The market for wearable fitness tracking devices is big business, with the number produced expected to increase from 17.7 million in 2014 to 40.7 million this year. According to research firm IDC, more than 100 million fitness devices that fit on your wrist like a watch will be sold across the globe by 2019.

A third of such devices currently sold are manufactured by Fitbit, and a further 4% by Jawbone, a competitor. Its default goal is also 10,000 steps – roughly equivalent to around five miles each day. Read more here…

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