4,400 Steps Daily Are the New 10,000

No excuses now not to hit the proper number of steps.

Interesting blog title, huh? 4,400 Steps Daily Are the New 10,000. To put this in context, consider that for years we have been told that a minimum of 10,000 steps per day are needed to be healthy. Yet, for many of us, this may not be a realistic goal. So, what do we do? Suppose that the 10,000-step figure is wrong.

According to new research, the proper minimum number may be as few as 4,400 steps daily.

As Allison Aubrey observes for NPR:

“There’s nothing magical about the number 10,000. In fact, the idea of walking at least 10,000 steps a day for health goes back decades to a marketing campaign launched in Japan to promote a pedometer. And, in subsequent years, it was adopted in the U.S. as a goal to promote good health. It’s often the default setting on fitness trackers, but what’s it really based on?”

“‘The original basis of the number was not scientifically determined,’ says researcher I-Min Lee of Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She was curious to know how many steps you need to take a day to maintain good health and live a long life, so she and her colleagues designed a study that included about 17,000 older women. Their average age was 72. The women all agreed to clip on wearable devices to track their steps as they went about their day-to-day activities.”

“It turns out that women who took about 4,000 steps per day got a boost in longevity, compared with women who took fewer steps. ‘It was sort of surprising,’ Lee says. In fact, women who took 4,400 steps per day, on average, were about 40 percent less likely to die during the follow-up period of about four years compared with women who took 2,700 steps. Another surprise: The benefits of walking maxed out at about 7,500 steps. In other words, women who walked more than 7,500 steps per day saw no additional boost in longevity. The findings were published  in JAMA Internal Medicine.”

“So, if 10,000 steps has been feeling out of reach to you, it may be time reset those factory settings on your fitness tracker. Instead, try to hit at least 4,400 a day, along with daily activities that you enjoy. And stick to it.”

Listen to the brief NPR audio for an overview. And click on the image to access the full NPR article.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/05/29/727943418/do-you-really-need-10-000-steps-per-day
“New research shows that daily light walking is important for maintaining health as you age. But if you can’t hit 10,000 steps, don’t worry.” Peter Muller/Getty Images/Cultura RF

 

Author: Living Well with Cancer

I am a long-time business school professor, who is a Pancreatic Cancer survivor. I had Whipple surgery on February 12, 2015. In this blog, I want to help others live well with cancer. A positive attitude, caring family, strong medical team, and supportive colleagues are key. And support from other cancer survivors can be life affirming.

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