New research points to different step counts based on age and fitness level




Six sentences have been removed from the text below.

Choose from the sentences a-f the one which fits each gap.


In 2022 I averaged 9,370 steps a day. I know. I counted. Or rather my iPhone counted. I carried it everywhere—not so much to catch every call as to catch every step. My daily aim? Ten thousand steps. Because goals.

1. ………………………………………… . In the 1960s a company in Japan invented an early pedometer. Because the Japanese character for “10,000” looks like a person walking, the company called its device the 10,000-step meter.

2. …………………………………………. says I-Min Lee, an epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Taking that many steps daily is challenging but doable for many people. “Sure, if you get 10,000 steps, it seems like a good goal. But there was not really any basis to it.”

3. …………………………………………. .Once they did, scientists needed to follow users for long periods to learn anything meaningful about the number of steps that affects mortality, cardiovascular fitness or anything else. And until recently, that hadn’t happened.

The current physical activity guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, published in 2018, are still based on time. Experts reviewed hundreds of studies on exercise and health. Nearly all were based on self-reports of physical activity, a measure that is not exact. It’s the equivalent of guessing how much time I spent walking last year.

4. ……………………………………….. the experts ended up recommending broad exercise ranges and not step counts: 150 to 300 minutes of weekly moderate activity (the equivalent of brisk walking) or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous activity (for example, jogging) during the same period. A decade of consistently hitting that goal translates to about an extra year and a half of life, epidemiological studies indicate. There simply wasn’t enough evidence to make a similar determination about steps. “It killed me that we couldn’t,” says William Kraus, a physician and scientist at Duke University, who helped to draw up the guidelines. “Step counts are accessible. People can understand them.”

5. ……………………………………… . In 2019 Lee published one of the first studies specifically investigating the actual effects of meeting the 10,000-step goal. Several other large studies followed. The result? Some movement is good, and more is better, but the benefits taper at some point. Your personal peak depends on your age. People younger than 60 should indeed walk 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day to get the best benefits in terms of life expectancy and cardiovascular health. People older than 60 show the most benefit between 6,000 and 8,000 steps. (…)

6. ……………………………………… .“We basically relate energy expenditure to health outcomes,” Kraus says. Walking for 60 minutes at 3.3 miles an hour and running for 30 minutes at six miles an hour use the same amount of energy. “The older you are, the less efficient you are with your steps,” Kraus says. “Per step, older people expend more energy.” As a result, they need fewer steps to achieve the same benefits.

a) Step-counting devices such as watches and phones came into widespread use only in the past two decades.

b) Now evidence about steps is starting to come in.

c) Yet the concept of taking 10,000 steps a day to maintain health is rooted not in science but in a marketing gimmick.

d) The difference is energy expenditure.

e) “It was just sort of a catchy phrase,”

f) Because of that room for error,

To check your answers/read the whole article, go to: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/you-dont-really-need-10-000-daily-steps-to-stay-healthy/

Key: 1.c);  2e); 3a); 4f); 5b); 6d)




  • gimmick – a trick or something unusual that you do to make people notice someone or something – used to show disapproval
  • mortality –  the number of deaths in a population during a given time or place
  • brisk – quick and full of energy
  • to taper – to gradually become less in amount, or to make something do this


Practice makes perfect


Replace the words 1-9 in the extract of the article: Research Shows This Everyday Activity Keeps Your Brain Sharp, Strengthens Your Relationships, and Boosts Your Mood with the words in bold below. Make sure their grammatical form is correct.

ramble            boost               age      potion             dispute

come               skim                sturdy               catch my eye

The surprise benefits of hiking

(…) A couple of years ago, an interview with neuroscientist and author Daniel Levitin 1. intrigued me. In it, he argues that hiking isn’t just a nice way to stay physically fit: Because of the uneven terrain and navigation involved, he says it’s an especially good activity for keeping your mind sharp as you 2. get older

Then, just last year, I 3. stumbled across another study that showed taking a long walk with someone to be an especially powerful way to build a deeper connection and resolve 4. disagreements. I did some digging and discovered business bigwigs like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs apparently intuited this truth long ago and have used it to their advantage by doing some of their most consequential deals during hikes.  

Fast-forward to just recently, when I was 5. browsing through psychology websites for potentially useful findings for entrepreneurs. On PsyPost, one particular headline jumped out at me: “Surfing and Hiking Can Help Reduce the Symptoms of Depression, Study Finds.” The article reports that a new study of active-duty military service members showed walking in nature–and catching a few waves–seemed to provide relief from depression. 

“The reductions in clinician-rated depressive symptoms were large, clinically significant, and greater among service members who attended more sessions,” the study authors write.  

Stumbling on a wonder drug 

Now, if I told you there was a pill out there that–without negative side effects–could 6. uplift your mood, strengthen your relationships, and help keep your brain sharp, would you take it? I’m going to guess the answer for a lot of folks would be yes. 

But, if these studies are to be believed, no pill or 7. elixir is needed. All you need is a pair of 8. solid shoes and your local nature trail. Hiking isn’t for everyone, of course. Some people have physical issues that make getting out in nature in this way hard. Others just really hate mosquitoes and mud. 

But the roster of famous hiking obsessives includes everyone from Apple boss Tim Cook to Charles Darwin. If you’re among this long list of high achievers who appreciate a good, long 9. saunter , these studies should give you incentive to make time in your busy schedule for a few more hikes. Science suggests the benefits extend far beyond those of your average workout. 

In order to check your answers/read the whole article, visit: https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/research-shows-this-everyday-activity-keeps-your-brain-sharp-strengthens-your-relationships-boosts-your-mood

Key: 1. caught my eye; 2. age; 3. came; 4. disputes; 5. skimming; 6. boost; 7. potion; 8. sturdy; 9. ramble




  • Do you like strolling round your town/city?
  • How much walking do you do every day? Do you count your steps?
  • What useful things could you do while you are walking?
  • St. Jerome said: “To solve a problem, walk around.” Do you agree?


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