Walking at least 4,000 steps a day can reduce your risk of death, but more is better.

A Complete Guide to Walking 

According to a new meta-analysis of studies, walking at least 4,000 steps a day significantly reduces your risk of early death, while walking 2,335 steps per day will specifically reduce your risk of death from heart disease. But “the more the merrier”.

“The more steps you walk, the better the impact on your health, and each increase of 500-1000 steps per day may be associated with a significant mortality reduction,” said first author Dr. Maciej Banach, deputy editor-in-chief of European the Society of Cardiology said in an email. According to the study, walking less than 5,000 steps per day is considered a “sedentary lifestyle.”

“We showed that each increase of 1000 steps/day was associated with a 15% reduction in the risk of death from any cause, and each increase of 500 steps/day was associated with a 7% reduction in death from heart disease is, said Banach, who is also an assistant professor of cardiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.

The fact that fewer steps are needed to reduce heart disease risk is not surprising, said Dr. David Katz, an expert in preventive and lifestyle medicine, who was not involved in the study. “Exercise directly heals the cardiovascular system, while the benefits in other systems or conditions are somewhat less,” said Katz, president and founder of the non profit True Health Initiative, a global coalition of experts dedicated to evidence-based lifestyle medicine. It is evident.”

The study’s methods were “robust and cutting-edge,” Katz said, and support what doctors often tell their patients. “First of all, any exercise is better than no exercise – the significant cardiovascular and overall health benefits are quite modest,” he said. “And as for the extent of the activity involving the public at large – the more, the better!”

Walking at least 4,000 steps a day can reduce your risk of death, but more is better.

Large analysis of existing studies

The study, published Tuesday in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, analyzed data from nearly 227,000 people from 17 studies conducted in Australia, Japan, Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. “To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest analysis (conducted) to date,” Banach said. He said the analysis was also able to examine “for the first time” whether walking up to 20,000 steps per day was associated with health benefits.

All studies were observational and therefore could only show an association between the number of steps per day and health, not direct cause and effect.

While walking about 4,000 steps per day leads to a “significant” reduction in the risk of early death, the biggest effect on risk occurs when people walk more than 7,000 steps per day, according to the study, with the greatest benefit occurring at about 20,000 steps. Is. found.

“However, I should emphasize that there was limited data available on getting up to 20,000 steps per day, and so these results need to be confirmed in larger groups of people,” said study senior, a preventive cardiologist at the university. said the author Dr. Ibadete Bayatisi. The Clinical Center of Kosovo in Pristina, Kosovo, in a statement.

According to the study, the health benefits were similar for both men and women in all countries. While both older participants – defined as those over the age of 60 – and younger people saw benefits, “the size of the reduction in risk of death was smaller (in older people) than in people under the age of 60.” Was,” Banach said.

walking at least 4,000 steps a day significantly reduces your risk of early death

Start early and keep going

Adults age 60 and older who walked 6,000 to 10,000 steps a day saw a 42% reduction in the risk of early death, compared with people under age 60 who walked 7,000 to 13,000 steps a day, they said. , they had a 49% reduction in risk.

The difference is probably explained by the formula, “The sooner, the better,” Banach said. Starting any health intervention early, he said, whether it’s regular physical activity at recommended levels, a healthy diet or other positive lifestyle changes, will have the greatest impact on cholesterol, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose and other triggers of disease.

“If you’re regular and consistent with physical activity — we call it physical activity adherence — you can always expect significant health benefits and live longer,” Banach said.

What if you can’t manage the number of steps found to be most beneficial in studies? Don’t stress about it, said Dr. Andrew Freeman, director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado.

“I think the study just shows that exercise is good, being non-sedentary is good, and the more exercise you can do the better,” said Freeman, who was not involved in the research.

“It’s unlikely that there’s some magical threshold in your body at which a little timer pops up and says ‘This is good.’ You know if you hit 5,000, 10,000 or 20,000 steps a day,” he said. Are ready for.

“I tell people who are just starting out and don’t get very many steps in, ‘Don’t lose hope. Every bit of exercise counts. Keep doing what you’re doing until the day You should not be out of breath for at least 30 minutes.

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