By Ken Reed

A study published in JAMA last month found that up to 10,000 steps per day is associated with a lower risk of mortality, as well as cancer and cardiovascular disease incidence. Steps performed with a higher intensity were associated with additional risk reduction. The association between accruing more steps beyond 10,000 was less evident.

It’s especially good news that the study’s authors didn’t find a minimal threshold for the beneficial association between the simple act of walking and mortality risk. In other words, longevity benefits were gained at various levels up to 10,000 steps a day. Reaching the 10,000 steps/day level wasn’t required to benefit from lower risks of mortality and cardiovascular disease and cancer incidence. Moreover, the steps need not be taken in a single session. Incidental steps throughout one’s day were also beneficial. This finding is meaningful because incidental walking at random times throughout the day may be more feasible for some people.

The population-based prospective cohort study used UK Biobank data for 78,500 people (ages 40 to 79) who were followed for a median of seven years.

This latest study adds to the growing pile of research supporting walking as a lifestyle choice which can help prevent chronic disease and premature mortality.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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