Walking just 6,000 steps a day could reduce the risk of early death in people over 60, a study has found. Taking more than 8,000 steps, however, has no added benefit in reducing this risk, according to researchers from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
The team analysed data from 15 studies, which looked at the effect of daily steps on the mortality rate, from all causes of death, for nearly 50,000 people from four continents.
The findings, published in the journal Lancet Public Health, showed those under 60 should aim for between 8,000 and 10,000 steps a day. 10,000 steps a day has no grounding in scienc Dr Amanda Pauluch, coauthor of the study, said the often quoted mantra of 10,000 steps a day had no grounding in science and came from a 1964 Japanese marketing campaign to sell pedometers.
Twenty minutes of daily exercise could cut heart disease risk in over-70s New study of more than 3,000 people suggests the greatest benefits are seen in people aged 70 to 75 To find the right number, the team sorted the 47,471 adults from the studies into four groups based on their average daily steps.
The lowest step group averaged 3,500 steps; the second, 5,800; the third, 7,800; and the fourth, 10,900 steps. Among the three higher active groups who got more steps a day, there was 40 to 53 per cent lower risk of death, compared to the lowest quartile group who walked fewer steps.
In the over-60s the risk of premature death levelled off at about between 6,000 and 8,000 daily steps, with more steps having no added benefit. Walking speed had no definitive link with the reduction in risk, the team said.
‘Moving even a little more is beneficial’ Dr Paluchn said: “Steps are very simple to track, and there is a rapid growth of fitness tracking devices.
“It’s such a clear communication tool for public health messaging. “The major takeaway is there’s a lot of evidence suggesting that moving even a little more is beneficial, particularly for those who are doing very little activity. “More steps per day are better for your health.”
An earlier study from last September, published in JAMA Network Open, found that walking 7,000 steps a day is enough to reduce the likelihood of death in middle-age – 38 to 50 – by 72 per cent. Taking 10,000 steps a day, the target figure often touted by fitness experts, brought about a 55 per cent drop in risk.