Why It's Time to Step Away from the 10,000-Step Goal

Is the buzz about 10,000 steps overhyped? As India's vibrant cities and corporations embrace a new wellness ethos, it's time to rethink old benchmarks. Discover how traditions, technology, and holistic insights are shaping the future of workplace health. It's not just about steps; it's about the journey.

September 2, 2023
Nitesh Padghan

India, with its vibrant mix of tradition and modernity, has been a silent observer of global health trends. In bustling cities from Mumbai to Bengaluru, where skyscrapers touch the heavens and streets buzz with life, a wellness revolution is unfolding. At its heart? The time-honored goal of 10,000 steps. But as the corporate world evolves, it's time we pause, reassess, and ask: Is this step count really the answer for employee health?

You see, every organization, from startups in Hyderabad to tech giants in Pune, wants a workforce that's not just present, but thriving. The '10,000 steps a day' mantra, for years, has been the go-to solution. On paper, it's straightforward. In practice? Maybe not so much. Especially when you consider the hustle of Indian urban life, where juggling work, family, and self-care can be a daily tightrope walk.

Unpacking the 10,000-Step Enigma

We've all heard it. The clarion call to march towards the 10,000-step milestone. But where did this number even come from? Not a medical lab or a wellness guru, but a 1964 marketing strategy in Japan. As the Olympics fever soared, a company marketed a pedometer, weaving the 10,000-step narrative. Fast forward, and this number has cemented itself in the global wellness lexicon.

manpo–kei (10,000 steps meter)

But here's the rub. For the average Indian employee, swamped with tasks and battling city traffic, this target often feels like scaling Mount Everest daily. If you're strolling at a leisurely 100 steps a minute, this goal translates to nearly 12 hours of walking every week. It's not just daunting—it can feel downright unattainable, especially for those tucked away in office cubicles or stationed at shopfronts.

The Science Speaks

Here's where things get interesting. Global studies, with sample sizes in the hundreds of thousands, are flipping the script. Turns out, it's not about hitting a lofty target, but consistent, meaningful activity. An increase of just 500 steps daily (that's a mere five-minute jaunt) can slash cardiovascular risks by 7%. Ramp it up to 1,000 steps, and the overall mortality risk dips by 15%. The real sweet spot? A more doable 4,000 steps.

This isn't just about numbers. It's about understanding the diverse fabric of the Indian workforce. The young techie in Gurgaon might be game for a 10k challenge. But the seasoned executive in Chennai? Perhaps not. And that's okay. The focus should be holistic wellness, not a one-size-fits-all metric.

Wellness in the Tech Era

India's tech prowess is no secret. From mobile apps to digital platforms, technology is reshaping how we approach wellness. The old-school pedometer has made way for sleek apps that don't just count steps but offer a holistic view of health. The Indian employee today has a suite of digital tools at their fingertips, tracking everything from sleep patterns to nutrition.

Companies too are catching on. Innovative platforms are offering rewards for wellness milestones, bridging physical health with tangible incentives. It's a win-win, ensuring employees are engaged, motivated, and on a path to holistic health. After all, in today's dynamic corporate landscape, employee well-being is not just a perk—it's a priority.

Redefining Workplace Wellness Goals

The 10,000-step goal, while inspirational for some, might need a rethink. As India strides into a new era of corporate wellness, the emphasis should shift from lofty targets to sustainable, meaningful wellness practices. Whether it's flexible work hours to accommodate physical activity, office spaces designed for movement or digital tools to track and reward wellness, it's clear: the future of employee health is holistic, inclusive, and personalized.

In essence, while the 10,000 steps might still find enthusiasts, the broader goal is clear: crafting a wellness narrative that's rooted in scientific insights, practicality, and the diverse needs of the Indian workforce. After all, in the intricate dance of well-being, it's not just about the steps, but the journey itself.

Occupational Wellness

From Zoom Calls to Chai Breaks: The Return of the Office

April 1, 2023
The Wellness Tribe Team

The pandemic has forced us to adjust to remote work, blurring the lines between our professional and personal lives. But with vaccinations and the easing of restrictions, the tide seems to be turning, with more and more employees choosing to go back to working from the office. 

According to a recent LinkedIn survey, 78% of Indian professionals are back to working from the office by choice. While remote work has its benefits, such as saving time and money on commuting, most workers miss the informal bonding that happens over a cup of chai during breaks. 

In this article, we'll delve into the findings of the survey and explore the changing attitudes toward remote work, the impact of remote work on career growth, and the importance of informal conversations in the workplace.

Remote Work & Career Impact

While remote work has been a savior for many employees during the pandemic, it has also raised concerns about its impact on career growth. Interestingly, the LinkedIn survey found that 63% of Indians surveyed feel that remote work has no harmful impact on their careers. 

However, for those who work remotely, the survey also highlighted the pressure to overcompensate and prove their commitment to work. With limited face-to-face interactions, there is a fear that employees may lose out on opportunities for career growth. 

The survey further revealed that a similar proportion of employees also believe that their chances of career growth could be reduced if they don't go to the office as much. As remote work becomes the new normal, it is essential to find a balance between the benefits of working from home and the opportunities that come with being in the office.

Back to the Office by Choice

As the world continues to navigate the post-pandemic landscape, the concept of work has undergone a paradigm shift. The new normal is a hybrid work model, which offers the best of both worlds - the flexibility of remote work and the social interaction of office work. 

Interestingly, a recent LinkedIn survey shows that a majority of Indian professionals (78%) are back to work from the office by choice. This is a clear indication of the importance of social interaction and face-to-face communication in the workplace. 

It appears that for many workers, the benefits of working from the office, such as increased productivity and better collaboration, outweigh the potential risks of exposure to the virus. Additionally, 86% of Indians feel positive about working in the office compared to a year ago, indicating that people are beginning to adjust to the new normal. 

As organizations adapt to this new reality, it will be interesting to see how they strike a balance between remote work and office work to meet the needs of their employees and maintain a productive work environment.

Thursday is the New Friday

Thursday has become the new Friday for Indian workers. A whopping 79% of Indians have said that they feel like Thursday is the new Friday. This could be because Friday is the least popular day for workers to go to the office. It seems that Indian professionals are not just working to live but also living to work.

But why has Thursday taken over as the new Friday? Perhaps it's because workers want to spend more time with their loved ones. After all, workers spend more time with family and friends on Fridays. They use the day to unwind, relax, and recharge for the weekend.

As a result, Indian professionals are structuring their work weeks differently. They're prioritizing their work on Mondays and Tuesdays, taking a break in the middle of the week, and finishing their tasks by Wednesday or Thursday. This way, they can enjoy their Fridays with their loved ones.

It seems that Indian workers have found a way to balance their professional and personal lives. They're not just clocking in and out of work; they're making time for what truly matters. And who knows, perhaps in the future, we might have to rename Friday to "Family Day."

The Importance of Chai Break Bonding

Remember those good old days of sipping a hot cup of chai while chitchatting with colleagues at the office? Well, it turns out that we are not alone in missing that bonding experience. According to this survey, 72% of Indian employees miss the camaraderie that comes with a chai break in the workplace.

For many workers, social interactions, efficient face-to-face meetings, and building work relationships are some of the top reasons for heading into the office. In fact, informal conversations with colleagues and team leaders can lead to unlocking new career opportunities and increasing recall value.

But the importance of chai break bonding goes beyond just building social connections. The survey found that impromptu exchanges during these breaks can also help boost long-term career growth when done with intention. As many as 15% of Indian employees reported that they are improving their visibility to management by having informal conversations with team leaders while at work.


The pandemic has undoubtedly reshaped the way we work and interact with our colleagues. As the world slowly adjusts to the new normal, it's essential to understand the changing attitudes towards remote work and the significance of in-person interactions.

At The Wellness Tribe, we understand the importance of employee well-being and the impact it has on overall business performance. We offer customized corporate wellness programs that focus on enhancing employee engagement, improving productivity, and fostering a positive work environment. Our programs include physical fitness, nutrition, mental health, and stress management to ensure holistic well-being.

So, if you're a business owner or an HR professional looking to create a positive and healthy workplace culture, contact us today to learn how we can help you achieve your wellness goals.

Emotional Wellness

Meditation: The First Step to Calmer, Clearer Minds

November 11, 2022
The Wellness Tribe Team

We live in a world full of distractions and stimulations. But imagine if there was a way to slow things down for the mind to unwind and for our body to let go of that stress.

What was the last time you devoted some time to being still, putting down your phone, and getting rid of all the distractions around you?

When was the last time you didn't do anything? 

Today, let’s discover how meditation can benefit us in our life. Whether you are new or have done some meditation before, you will find this guide very helpful. 

Meditation: What Exactly Is It?

So you may be asking, Well, what is meditation? Honestly, it's actually a really simple thing. In essence, meditation is a skill that trains our minds so we can maintain a calmer, clearer mind and feel more at ease mind body soul.

Thus, we're taking a few minutes out of our everyday routine and training our minds to be less distracted and more present. No need to become a monk or nun to meditate. 

Many people assume that meditation is meant to control the mind, change the mind, and get rid of thoughts and distractions. There is more to meditation than that. If you've been introduced to meditation through a workplace wellness program or other employee wellbeing program, you can make it easy at home without any help. 

Here’s an Example to Make It Easier

Begin Your Journey Towards a Calmer, Clearer Mind With Meditation
Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Look at meditation in this way. Imagine that you're sitting on the side of the road. Now, you have just to sit there and watch the cars. The cars are your thoughts. Sounds easy, right? We tend to feel unsettled when the traffic moves.

So to stop the cars, we run out into the road. Perhaps we even forget the point of sitting there in the first place, chasing after some. Obviously, running around all the time only increases our restlessness in mind.

So by training the mind, we can transform our relationship with those passing thoughts and feelings. Having a different perspective on things allows us to find the peace we need for prosperous mental health.

Is it possible to get distracted from the idea of the exercise sometimes? Indeed, as soon as we remember, we're back on the roadside, watching the traffic go by, entirely at ease, body and mind. A fundamental method of cultivating a sense of peace is focused attention.

"Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity." - Voltaire

The Art of Meditation

It's important to have something to focus our attention on when we're training our mind body soul. It could be a visualisation, a question, a word, a phrase, or maybe even something external. The most common thing to focus on is the breath.

Our focus of attention gives us an anchor. We can turn to it when we suddenly realise our minds have wandered. That, of course, will happen sometimes.

It's not that we're trying to block out thoughts or isolate ourselves from the world we live in when we focus on an object like our breath. But, rather than getting sucked into that type of thinking or distraction, we're learning to step out of it, let it go, and return to our calm, focused attention.

The Science Behind Meditation

‍The Science Behind Meditation
Photo by cottonbro studio

The concept of focused attention is not new. Thousands of years ago, Buddhists practised meditation to achieve inner piece and happiness. People who have practised meditation for years have felt the benefits but don't necessarily know how it works physiologically.

The last 20 years have seen scientists rigorously measure blood pressure, heart rate, stress levels, and even brain structure to see what's happening.

There is something called "neuroplasticity." It explains that the brain is flexible and malleable, that it could change, and that scientists were actually witnessing this by putting monks through an fMRI scanner and noticing what was happening to the brain before, during, and after meditation.

It is now known that when we meditate, we are training a muscle, just like when we go to the gym and work out. We build it up. The same goes for that part of the brain linked to happiness and well-being.

It's getting thicker. It's getting stronger, so we actually spend more time in that place. Meditation's been proven to reduce stress, frustration, depression, and pain and also to increase happiness, heightening levels of patience, acceptance, and compassion. So even if you feel like nothing is happening when you meditate and practice mindfulness, you can be assured that it can improve your personal as well as wellbeing at workplace.

So if you wish to embark on a journey through mindfulness, let’s get started. with our Mindfulness Matters: How to Stay Steady during Storms guide.

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