The often-cited 10,000-steps-per-day health recommendation is based on a marketing campaign by a Japanese pedometer manufacturer. The Japanese character for 10,000 (δΈ‡) looks like a person walking and lent itself to selling pedometers. The actual health merits of that exact number have never been validated by research. While the benefits of walking are beyond doubt, the amount of steps that are useful to our health depends on our individual circumstances.