Walking pace as important as 10,000 steps for health

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

In two studies from the University of Sydney and elsewhere, scientists found that lowered risk of dementia, heart disease, cancer and death are linked to achieving 10,000 steps a day.

However, a faster stepping pace like a power walk showed benefits above and beyond the number of steps achieved.

The take-home message here is that for protective health benefits people could not only ideally aim for 10,000 steps a day but also aim to walk faster.

The study also demonstrated that as low as 3,800 steps a day can cut the risk of dementia by 25 percent.

In the study, the team monitored 78,500 adults aged 40 to 79 years with wearable trackers. They found every 2,000 steps lowered the risk of premature death incrementally by 8 to 11 percent, up to approximately 10,000 steps a day.

Similar associations were seen for heart disease and cancer risks. A higher number of steps per day was linked to a lower risk of all-cause dementia.

9,800 steps was the optimal dose linked to a lower risk of dementia by 50 percent, however, the risk was reduced by 25 percent at as low as 3,800 steps a day.

Stepping intensity or a faster pace showed beneficial associations for all outcomes (dementia, heart disease, cancer and death) over and above total daily steps.

The team says step count is easily understood and widely used by the public to track activity levels thanks to the growing popularity of fitness trackers and apps, but rarely do people think about the pace of their steps

Findings from the studies could inform the first formal step-based physical activity guidelines and help develop effective public health programs aimed at preventing chronic disease.

If you care about wellness, please read studies about dieting method that could increase longevity, and this exercise is the key to improving people’s longevity.

For more information about wellness, please see recent studies about new guidance for exercise in type 2 diabetes, and results showing this fruit could hold the key to exercise endurance.

The study was conducted by Dr. Matthew Ahmadi et al and published in JAMA Internal Medicine and JAMA Neurology.

Copyright © 2022 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.