Experts have long endorsed walking as a free and easy way for people to get a wide variety of health benefits, including improved sleep, prevention of weight gain and reduced risks for serious conditions like heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
In a study from the Medical University of Lodz in Poland, scientists found adding 1,000 or even 500 steps to your daily routine could lead to a longer life.
While fitness apps often recommend taking 10,000 steps a day, there’s no magic number for improving health.
In the study, researchers wanted to get a clearer idea of how many steps might help people live longer.
The team analyzed 17 studies that gathered data on step counts, deaths from all causes and specifically from heart problems. The 226,899 adults in the studies were followed for an average of 7.1 years.
The team found that each increase of 1,000 steps taken daily by the studies’ participants was associated with a 22% lower chance of dying from all causes.
Each 500-step increment was linked to a 7% drop in heart-related deaths.
When researchers looked at the median number of step counts, walking more – especially a lot more – seemed to have a greater connection to reduced death rates.
Compared with a group of people logging almost 4,000 steps daily, risk of death from any cause was reduced by 49% for 5,500 steps; 55% for 7,400 steps; and 67% for 11,500 steps a day.
For deaths from cardiovascular causes, compared with about 2,350 steps a day, risk fell by 16% for 4,000 steps; 49% for 6,700; and 67% for 10,400 steps a day.
The team says the message is you don’t need to walk a lot to get large benefits. Walking just 1,000 extra steps a day can be very important
The key is to do it regularly.
The potential benefits of extra daily steps need to be studied in well-designed, randomized controlled trials of different populations.
Medical professionals should try to motivate patients to be physically active.
If you care about wellness, please read studies that fatigue feelings may predict death risk, and this dieting method could help increase longevity.
For more information about health, please see recent studies about vitamin D deficiency linked to severe COVID-19 and death, and results showing vitamin D supplements strongly reduces cancer death.
The study was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions.
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