Many fitness enthusiasts often like to track their daily physical activities, and one of them is walking 10,000 steps a day. However, does it really take so many steps to stay physically active and increase your life expectancy? Well, you may not require doing so, says new research.
According to the study that looked at roughly 17,000 older women (average age 72), the risk of dying reduced by 41% when they walked just 4,400 steps on a daily basis when compared with women who got 2,700 steps. They had additional benefit up to 7,500 steps a day; however, the death risk leveled off.
The most active group that walked 8,500 steps a day had a 58% lower risk of dying during follow-up. The researchers also found that there was no statistically significant difference when it comes to the intensity of activity.
The study was published Wednesday in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Lead study author Dr. I-Min Lee said, “Our message is not a new message: Physical activity is good for you. What’s new and striking is how little you need to do to make a difference.”
She said the researchers do not know whether the same benefits would be seen in men and younger people. However, she said it is quite clear that people do benefit from performing physical activities.
Dr. Lee said, “The average American walks about 4,000 or 5,000 steps a day.”
She explained that researchers are not aware of where the concept of walking 10,000 steps a day came from. It might have come from a Japanese company that made a pedometer in the 1960s.
“You can step fast or you can step slow. It didn’t matter,” explained Dr. Lee.
She also explained that daily physical activity could help improve blood pressure, blood sugar processing, and blood cholesterol levels. Additionally, regular physical activity is associated with better thinking and memory skills; more importantly, it improved the quality of life.
Dr. Lee said, “I can’t beat home enough the point that physical activity is good for you. Just moving around is so good for your health.” She recommended, “Taking stairs, getting up and moving during commercial breaks on TV, playing with your grandkids or walking a pet.”