WASHINGTON, DC – August 8, 2023 – Are you trying to reach 10 thousand steps every day to benefit your health? A new study, published August 8th in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, shows that the number of steps that a person has to walk each day to reduce the risk of dying is lower than previously thought. Walking a little less than 4 thousand steps each day was shown to reduce the risk of dying from any cause and just more than 2 thousand steps a day reduces the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. The more a person walks can result in better health.
The study is a meta-analysis of 17 smaller studies and the largest study of its kind. Almost 230 thousand people from around the world had their daily steps counted and compared to their risk of dying. Study participants were followed for an average of 7 years. The average age was 64 years. Most participants were generally healthy when they began the study. Almost half of the participants were female. The authors found that the risk of dying from any cause was reduced by 15% by walking 1 thousand more steps every day and the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease was 7% less by walking 5 hundred more steps a day. The health benefits continued to increase even if someone walked as many as 20 thousand steps a day and even if started after age 60.
The study is an observational study. It indicates that an increased daily step count is associated with a reduction in the risk of death. The study does not prove that an increased daily step count causes a reduction in the risk of death.
According to data from the World Health Organization, inadequate physical activity is the 4th most frequent cause of death in the world. This was made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Professor Maciej Banach, the lead author of the study from the Medical University of Lodz, Poland and Johns Hopkins University, said, “Our study confirms that the more you walk, the better. We found that this applied to both men and women, irrespective of age, and irrespective of whether you live in a temperate, sub-tropical or sub-polar region of the world, or a region with a mixture of climates.” The research did not identify any differences according to race or socioeconomic status.
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