So you don't need 10K steps a day -- how many do you need?

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Walking back to camp, together.
Nevaeh, left, and Gabrielle, right, walk back to the Family Fun Day activities. A new study says you can walk far fewer steps a day to see health benefits.
Jackson Forderer for MPR News 2014

It turns out you probably don't have to walk the commonly recommended 10,000 steps a day to see health benefits. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association followed 16,000 women over five years and found the benefits kick in and then peak at much lower numbers.

"It's totally arbitrary," Dr. Jon Hallberg told MPR News host Tom Crann of the guideline. "There was a product that came out in Japan in 1965 and when you translate the title of this product into English, it's '10,000 steps meter.'"

Hallberg, medical director of the University of Minnesota Physicians Mill City Clinic said a daily steps goal is still an effective and affordable way to stay active. To find out how many steps improve health, click play on the audio player above.