June 25, 2022

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How many steps should you walk per day for optimal health?

How many steps should you walk per day for optimal health?

The 10,000 Steps a Day to Get Healthy mantra, which has been repeated by many people, originated from the . campaign marketing It has been around for decades to advertise a Japanese pedometer and doesn’t actually respond to any specific scientific study.

However, this does not mean that it is not a good idea to take 10,000 steps a day. It’s a logical number for an active lifestyle, but many people believe that if they don’t reach it, they won’t do enough.

To clarify the suspicion, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst conducted a large meta-analysis (review of studies) and concluded that You don’t have to take 10,000 steps to get the health benefits. The results have been published in The Lancet Public Health.

This study represents an attempt to convey a message based on scientific evidence about How many steps to take each day to help reduce the risk of an early death‘,” the study authors note.

The main conclusions of an international team of researchers led by physical activity epidemiologist Amanda Baloch, of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, are as follows:

  • On Adults 60 years and overThe risk of early death settles around 6000 to 8000 steps per day, which means that taking more steps does not provide any additional benefit in terms of longevity.
  • On Adults under 60danger settles between 8000 and 10000 steps per day.
In adults younger than 60, the risk of premature death is between 8,000 and 10,000 steps per day. – Photo: Getty Images

Reducing the risk of early death

“We observed that the risk of premature death decreases with increasing number of steps, but there comes a time when it stabilizes and no additional benefit is obtained. Interestingly, the research did not find a definitive association with walking speed, beyond the total number of steps per day,” says Amanda Baloch, according to a post on the Saber Vivir portal.

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This new research supports and extends the findings of another study led by Paluch, published in 2021 in Jama Network Open, which found that Walking at least 7,000 steps a day reduces the risk of early death in middle-aged people.

Getting some movement is good for those who get less active and taking more steps each day is better for health.  Photo: IDRD.
Getting some movement is good for those who get less active and taking more steps each day is better for health. Photo: IDRD. – Photo: Monserrat – IDRD

To reach these conclusions, researchers gathered evidence from 15 studies that looked at the effect of daily steps on all-cause mortality in adults over 18 years of age. They grouped nearly 50,000 participants into four comparison groups, based on average steps per day.

The first group took an average of 3,500 steps per day, the second group took 5,800 steps, the third group took an average of 7,800 steps per day, and the fourth and final group took 10,900 steps per day.

How much walking to burn more fat?

Of the three most active groups that took the most steps per day, There was a 40% to 53% lower risk of death compared to the group that walked lessaccording to a meta-analysis.

“The main takeaway is that there is a lot of evidence to suggest that moving a little more is beneficial, especially for those who do very little activity. More steps per day is better for health. The benefit in terms of risk of death is between 6,000 and 8,000 for the elderly, and 8,000 to 10,000 for younger adults,” says Dr. Amanda Balloch.

Easy counting steps

The American Heart Association recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity, or a combination of both.

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However, “Meeting physical activity recommendations isn’t always easy, so the easier it is to stick to the message, the better. The steps are very easy to follow, and there is a wide range of fitness trackers,” says Balloch.

Nowadays, technology makes it very easy, through cell phones or activity bracelets, to calculate the steps a person takes throughout the day, whether continuous or split.