The fitness goal of 10,000 steps a day is widely promoted, but a new study suggests that logging even 7,000 daily steps may go a long way toward better health. Middle-age people who walked at least 7,000 steps a day on average were 50 percent to 70 percent less likely to die of any cause over the next decade, compared with those who took fewer steps. Lower risk of premature death was observed for both women and men, Black and white, who took 7,000 steps or more, according to results published this month in JAMA Network Open.
“We saw that you can get a lot of benefit from 7,000 steps,” said study author Amanda Paluch, an assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
The study involved 2,110 adults ages 38 to 50 who in 2005 and 2006 wore a device called an accelerometer for about a week to track their steps. During the follow-up period, which averaged almost 11 years, 72 of the participants died, most commonly from cancer or heart disease. In analyzing the data, the researchers controlled for body mass index, smoking and other factors that could have affected the findings.
Excerpted from NBC News