Tracking activity levels is not a new phenomenon. In Japan in the 1960s Dr Yoshiro Hantano developed a pedometer called a ‘manpo-kei’, or 10,000 steps meter. Although fitness has always been a part of Japan’s cultural heritage Dr Hantano was concerned about the rise in obesity after the war. Worried they may be in danger of importing unhealthy diet options from the west which could threaten their traditional healthy diet and renowned longevity. He based his ideas on an easy way to calculate the number of calories burned during exercise to help people improve their life.
His research is similar to that of today where he suggested that the average person walked 3,500 to 5,000 steps each day. He then calculated that if this daily total increased to around 10,000 then it might be possible to burn off approximately 500+ extra calories and perhaps lose up to 20 kilograms in a year! Thus the 10,000 step regime was born.