Walking just 4,000 steps a day can help you live longer, according to a new study.
Researchers found people were less likely to die from all causes if they clocked at least 3,967 daily steps, while 2,337 paces a day reduced their chance of dying from heart disease.
Analyzing 226,889 people from 17 studies revealed adding 1,000 steps a day reduced the chance of dying by 15 percent, and a seven percent lower chance of dying from cardiovascular disease could be achieved by an extra 500 steps.
The team is yet to find a limit – the health perks continued to multiply even among those managing 20,000 steps a day.
Walking’s perks were most keenly felt among the under-60s.
Younger adults who walked 7,000 to 13,000 a day had a 49 percent reduction in their risk of death, in the study by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Medical University of Lodz in Poland.
Older adults who walked between 6,000 and 10,000 steps a day reduced their risk by 42 percent.
Professor Maciej Banach, Cardiology at the Medical University of Lodz, Poland, said: “Our study confirms that the more you walk, the better.
“We found that this applied to both men and women, irrespective of age, and irrespective of whether you live in a temperate, sub-tropical or sub-polar region of the world, or a region with a mixture of climates.
“In addition, our analysis indicates that as little as 4,000 steps a day are needed to significantly reduce deaths from any cause, and even fewer to reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease.
“In a world where we have more and more advanced drugs to target specific conditions such as cardiovascular disease, I believe we should always emphasize that lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, which was a main hero of our analysis, might be at least as, or even more effective in reducing cardiovascular risk and prolonging lives.
“We still need good studies to investigate whether these benefits may exist for intensive types of exertion, such as marathon running and iron man challenges, and in different populations of different ages, and with different associated health problems.
“However, it seems that, as with pharmacological treatments, we should always think about personalizing lifestyle changes.”
Sedentary lifestyles are strongly associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, and studies show a quarter of the world’s population doesn’t get up and about enough.
Women tend to move less than men: 32 percent move too little, versus 23 percent of men.
People from higher-income countries tend to be less active, with 37 percent not exercising enough versus 16 percent of those from lower-income countries.
According to WHO (World Health Organization) data, insufficient exercise is the fourth most frequent cause of death in the world – every year, 3.2 million deaths are linked to physical inactivity.
Activity levels have not recovered since they were decimated in the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr. Ibadete Bytyçi from the University Clinical Centre of Kosovo, Pristina, Kosovo, senior author of the paper, said of the study published in European Journal of Preventive Cardiology: “Until now, it’s not been clear what is the optimal number of steps, both in terms of the cut-off points over which we can start to see health benefits, and the upper limit, if any, and the role this plays in people’s health.
“However, I should emphasize that there were limited data available on step counts up to 20,000 a day, and so these results need to be confirmed in larger groups of people.”
The team spent seven years following up with participants, who had an average age of 64, and 49 percent of whom were female.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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