How to Walk 2000 More Steps a Day and Keep Weight Off

30 Easy Ways to Walk 2000 More Steps a Day

Woman tracking her steps on a cell phone app
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If you add just 2000 more steps a day to your regular activities, you may never gain another pound. So says research by Dr. James O. Hill of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. To lose weight, add in more steps.

Move More - 2000 More Steps per Day Reduces Health Risks

Sedentary people in the USA generally move only 2000-3000 steps a day. Previous studies have shown that moving 6000 steps a day significantly reduces risk of death, and 8000-10,000 a day promotes weight loss.

How far is 2000 steps? It is about a mile. But the benefits for health and for weight management don't depend on you walking a mile all at one time, but simply adding in more steps throughout the day. See our next page for 30 ways to add 2000 steps to your day.

Count Your Steps with a Pedometer or App

By wearing a pedometer all day, you are motivated to add in extra steps whenever you can. You can  use a pedometer app on your mobile phone to keep you up to date with your step count if you don't want to wear a pedometer or fitness band. A study found they motivate as well as a pedometer.

There are many little trips that can add up to a mile or two a day - parking farther from the door of your destination, taking the stairs rather than the elevator, pacing around as you talk on the telephone, taking a marching-in-place minute once an hour.

"All in all, it is entertaining to ponder that such a seemingly insignificant gadget may be of practical importance in the war on obesity!" said Catrine Tudor-Locke, Ph.D., Department of Exercise and Wellness, Arizona State University in the conclusion of a report by the President's Council of Physical Fitness and Sports, June, 2002.

Start Counting Your Steps

1. Buy a step counting pedometer or start using a pedometer app. Top Picks for Pedometers

2. Set your pedometer or app so it is counting accurately. How to Measure Your Stride Length

3. Wear your pedometer throughout the day or ensure you are carrying your phone with you most of the day.

4. See how many steps you take on an average day, then add 2000 steps to set your daily walking goal. With apps and online dashboards, you can often set your own goal rather than just accepting the standard 10,000 steps per day.

5. Chart your steps each day or check the daily log for your pedometer app or online dashboard for your activity monitor. Logs and Charts

6. Make a game or challenge of it. If you are using a pedometer that has an associated app or online dashboard, set goals and join in any challenges they have. It is very effective to have friends with the same fitness band and compete with them. You can also enjoy our free Webwalking USA Program to motivate you to log pedometer steps. 

30 Easy Ways to Walk 2000 More Steps a Day

How can you stop sitting still and get more steps per day? Here are ways you can achieve more steps throughout the day and reduce the health risks of sitting still.

Sneaky Steps at Home and Work
• Park in the far back of the parking lot and walk farther to the door.
• Get off the bus a stop or two before your usual stop and walk the rest of the way.
• Use the farthest entrance into your workplace from your parking spot or bus stop, and walk through the building to your work area.

• Don't stand, pace -- when waiting for the bus, waiting at an elevator, etc. pace around in circles rather than just standing.
• Circle the room when waiting for meetings to start.
• Use the restroom, copy machine, water fountain, break room, etc. that is farther from your work area.
• Take the stairs rather than the elevator, especially for one to three floors, both up and down.
• When making a phone call, stand up and pace around as you talk.
• Rather than phone or email, walk to a coworker's office or neighbor's house and talk to them live.
• When people stop to talk with you, make it a moving meeting and walk around together while chatting.
• Hide the TV remote and walk to the TV to change channels.
• During TV commercials, get up and walk around the house.
• When doing errands, park in a central location and walk to your store destinations.
• Return the shopping cart all the way to the store after grocery shopping.

• Never drive through - get out and park and walk into the bank or fast food stop instead.

Short Dedicated Walks
• Marching Minutes - every 30 minutes get up from your desk or easy chair and do 1-5 minutes of walking in place and stretching your arms, shoulders and neck.
• Before eating lunch, take a 10-minute walking break.

• Walk the dog.
• Look over your usual trips in the car - are there any that you could do as walks instead, such as to the post office?
• If you take your kids to sports or activities, dedicate 10-20 minutes of that time to walking around after dropping them off or when you arrive early to pick them up.
• When waiting at the airport - secure your bags and take a good walk around the terminal area. Don't take the people-mover sidewalks.

Walking Together - Two or More
• Form a workplace walking group and meet to walk together during lunch or break.
• Form a neighborhood walking group and meet to walk together in the morning, noon, or after work.
• Make a family habit of taking a 10-20 minute walk after dinner together, or first thing in the morning.
• Use the Webwalking USA Program for a family or workplace walking challenge.
• Chart your walking and set a reward when you reach your walking goals.

Fun Walking Activities for the Weekend
Charity Walks - usually 5-10 kilometers (3-6 miles) and lots of fun.

• Visit local parks and enjoy the trails. Set a goal to visit them all in the next couple of months.
• Seasonal walks: Holiday lights, flowers and gardens, nature trails, local festivals, historic home tours, autumn leaves.
• Volkssport walking events and clubs: These free or inexpensive walking events and self-guided walking routes are open to everyone and held in locations throughout the world. Volkssport walking
• Join in a historic walking tour of your city or other nearby attraction.

Walking Steps Equivalents
1 mile = 2100 average steps.
1 block = 200 average steps
10 minutes of walking = 1200 steps on average
Bicycling or swimming = 150 steps for each minute.
Weightlifting = 100 steps per minute
Rollerskating = 200 steps per minute
More: Walking Step Equivalents for Other Activities


James O. Hill, et. al. "Obesity and the Environment: Where Do We Go from Here?" Science. 7 February 2003: Vol. 299. no. 5608, pp. 853 - 855.

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