For anyone who might be step-obsessed, a new study suggests that all those steps might also add years to their life.
Folks who took about 7,000 steps a day had a 50 percent to 70 percent lower risk of dying from all causes during after 11 years of follow-up when compared with people who took fewer steps each day. These findings held for Black and white middle-aged men and women.
And quicker steps weren’t necessarily any better, the study showed. Step intensity, or the number of steps per minute, didn’t influence the risk of dying.
The study appears in the Sept. 3 issue of the journal JAMA Network Open.
“Step-counting devices can be useful tools for monitoring and promoting activity in the general public and for patient-clinician communication, the study said. “Steps per day is a simple, easy-to-monitor metric and getting more steps/day may be a good way to promote health.”
The study said that 7,000 steps/day may be a great goal for many individuals who are currently not achieving this amount. We also found in our study that accumulating a greater number of steps/day was associated with an incremental lower risk of mortality until leveling off at approximately 10,000 steps/day.
This is a very nice study with a great message: “Live longer, walk more,” the study said. “There’s no need to join a gym, no need to purchase equipment, just start walking.”
The research wasn’t designed to say how, or even if, taking more steps reduced the chances of dying.
But “exercise can reduce cardiovascular risk by improving blood pressure, reducing cholesterol, improvement of hyperglycemia [blood sugar] in diabetes, and contributing to weight reduction,” the study reported.