You know sitting's no good for your health, but there's not much you can do about your sedentary desk job. The whole 10,000-steps-a-day thing seems like a pretty lofty goal anyway, since that much walking amounts to traversing roughly 8 kilometres daily.
And for many of us, it is a lofty goal: Back in 2010, research showed our average daily step count was more like 5,117. And today, experts estimate we're not getting all that many more. People who wear fitness trackers might have a leg up on the competition — data from over 10 million Fitbit users show an average daily step count of 8,170 — but even those activity-minded folks aren't always reaching the coveted 10K a day.
Despite all this news, it's easier than you might think to get there—even without breaking a sweat (although we definitely recommend doing that, too). You can build up slowly to 10,000 daily steps by breaking that goal into smaller pieces throughout the day, using some of these easy-peasy activities. Here's how to add more steps to your day, with step count estimates from Purdue University, and without exercising more.
PARK FARTHER AWAY
Stop fighting over those precious first-row spots and park your car in the farthest corner of the parking lot, whether it's at work, the kids' school, or the gym. Every extra minute of walking you do from your car door to that building's door is worth 84 steps.
MAKE YOUR PARKING SPOT DO DOUBLE DUTY
If you have to hit up more than one store, park in a central location and walk your 84 steps per minute to both.
TAKE THE STAIRS
Put on your favourite song and boogie around the living room and you'll be about 400 steps up.
MOW OR RAKE THE LAWN
At 120 steps per minute, 15 minutes of outdoor chores will help you rack up 1,800 steps.
TAKE AN EXTRA LAP
Before you hit the check-out line at the grocery store, walk through the aisles one more time. At a rate of 67 steps per minute, grocery shopping might buy you as many as 600 steps — plus, you probably forgot something anyway!
GET OFF AT THE WRONG STOP
If you take public transit to work, hop off your bus or train one stop early. Walking at a brisk enough pace to not be late could win you 1,260 steps in 15 minutes.
USE THE OTHER BATHROOM
No, not that other bathroom — the one on a nearby floor at the office instead of the one right around the corner. You'll get 200 or so extra steps from the stroll, and another 80 for the extra flights of stairs.
WINDOW SHOP ON YOUR LUNCH BREAK
A slow stroll will earn you 61 steps per minute. You can easily nab 1,200 in a quick jaunt — and you won't hurt your wallet.
WALK THE DOG
As in, actually walk with him, instead of just letting him out in the backyard. Allow him to sniff around a few distractions, and before you know it you'll have taken nearly 1,000 steps in 15 minutes.
Before you fire off that e-mail to your coworker who sits down the hall, consider the fact that you'll earn 61 steps per minute if you walk over to talk to her instead.
DO THE DANG VACUUMING ALREADY
We know, you've been putting it off for ages. But at 94 steps per minute, the lousy chore could make a serious dent in your quest for 10K.
GO MINI GOLFING
All that walking from hole to hole (and, let's face it, to retrieve at least one ball that landed in a body of water) adds up, at 91 steps per minute.
WASH THE CAR
Skip the drive-thru and get scrub-a-dub-dubbing yourself. Even if it takes you only 15 minutes or so, it'll boost your count by about 1,000 steps.
Pop in an earbud and take that conference call on the go. Strolling while you're on a 30-minute phone call is worth more than 1,800 steps.
This article originally appeared on Prevention