This company could pay you $10,000 to walk 10,000 steps a day

a photo of feet walking
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When it comes to getting paid to walk it often sounds too good to be true, but this gym company from Salt Lake City, Utah, is advertising for a "Chief Step Officer", who will be paid $10,000 for walking 10,000 steps per day.

There are a few stipulations — the successful candidate must be over 18 and a U.S. citizen. They’ll also need to write a paragraph at the end of each week,  describing their activities, challenges, success, and overall feelings. They’ll also need to create one social media post throughout the month, to encourage others to get walking. 

If you’re successful, you’ll get given a smartwatch (check out the best smartwatches on the market, as well as the best fitness trackers here), that’ll count your daily steps, along with a payment of $2,000 a month for five months, so $10,000 in total. You can read more and apply here. But what are the benefits of walking 10,000 steps daily, even if you’re not lucky enough to get selected? Check out the benefits of walking more below. 

As a reminder, if you are changing your exercise routine, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor beforehand. It’s also important to get the right gear to ensure that you are not putting yourself at risk of injury. Check out the best hiking boots on the market here, plus these Skechers Go Walk walking sneakers

What are the benefits of walking 10,000 steps per day? 

It’s worth noting that whether you’re walking for weight loss or just looking to get fitter and reduce the time spent sitting in your car, 10,000 steps a day isn’t the be-all and end-all. The target of 10,000 steps (it seems a little neat, right?) began as a piece of marketing in 1965 by a Japanese company that was about to introduce a device called a Manpo-kei (it means 10,000-steps meter). However, it is a useful goal — a review of 32 studies, published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity found that “10,000 steps/day is a reasonable target for healthy adults.”

You can lose weight

According to the American Council on Exercise, the average person who hits 10,000 steps per day will burn up to 3,500 calories per week. To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. On average, an hour's walk will burn between 100 and 175 calories for most people. So, you're not going to lose weight unless you cut back your caloric intake or engage in more vigorous physical activity, but walking faster, for longer, or walking uphill can increase your calorie burn. 

You can build muscle

Yes, walking does build muscle strength and endurance, so if you’re looking to tone up, an hour of walking a day will help you reach your goal. That said, as walking is a cardiovascular exercise, it’s not easy to build serious muscle mass from walking alone — for that, you’ll probably have to supplement your walks with resistance or strength training. 

You can strengthen your heart and boost your immune system

Studies have found that walking for 30 minutes per day, five days a week, may reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by 19 percent. Another study looked at 1,000 different adults during flu season and found that those who did a moderately paced walk for 30-45 minutes per day had 43 percent fewer sick days. 

If hitting a daily step goal isn’t enough motivation to get you out the door, perhaps lie your walking kit out at the end of the bed so you see them as soon as you wake up. You’d be surprised how effective this is. If you have returned to office work and lunchtime is best for you, add your walk to your work calendar, or perhaps opt to walk some of your meetings using one of the best under desk treadmills.

Looking for more motivation? Check out the best walking workouts here, plus read what happened when our fitness editor walked 10,000 steps per day for a month

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Jane McGuire
Fitness editor

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past five years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy.