Daily Step Goals for Health — You May Need Less Than You Realised

Four Powerful Ways to Decrease Muscle Soreness & Post-Exercise Exhaustion

Are you working harder than you should?

I usually become pretty uptight when I don’t achieve my step goals. Using the iPhone activity tracker app helps keep me accountable and committed to my daily step goal for better health & longevity. To be completely honest with you walking eases my mental health more than anything else. But, I get a lot of benefits from using my feet. Taking 10 000 steps per day is an outstanding achievement and something we should aim for — but this may not be a realistic daily goal. It might be outside your scope on any particular day & the guilt of not keeping up with your step goals can start to set in. But don’t fret yet, because we may not need as many steps as we’ve been lead t believe. A large body of evidence suggests that physical activity is essential for health and longevity; very few studies examined how many steps are necessary to achieve better health — particularly those long-term health outcomes we seek. A study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital investigators sought to address this gap by examining the outcomes of more than four years for older women. Steps were measured for a whole week. 

The findings are indicated below.

Older women who took as little as 4,400 steps per day lowered their risk of death compared to those who only took 2,700 steps per day. The risk of death declined with more steps but began to level off at around the 7,500 step mark. Many of us have been subjected to aim for a higher rate of steps than necessary. These results were then presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting and published in JAMA Internal Medicine. For some people, aiming toward 10,000 steps can be overwhelming and unrealistic. But through these findings, we find that lowering our step goal towards a more modest amount still gives us health benefits. It seems pretty clear from this study that the number of steps you take daily is related to lower mortality and better health. So, keep up your step goals— even a tiny amount benefits you. 

Where did the 10,000-step rule come from?

The original theory of 10,00 steps is a little unclear but might trace back to 1965 when a Japanese company marketed the pedometer called Manpo-key, which can be translated to 10,000 steps meter in Japan. 

Some insight and study data

Participants in this study were followed for about four years. During this time, 504 women died. Participants that average 2,700 steps per day were at the most significant risk of death, 4,400 steps per day were at a 41 per cent lower risk of death. Then, from about 7,500 steps per day, the risk of death continued to decrease. The team can also confirm that women who walked the same number of steps with altered intensity (either fast or slow) were not associated with the risk of death. So, it doesn’t matter how slow or fasts you go — it all helps. These studies were conducted on older women. Further insights will require younger and diverse populations to determine findings for those who walk more and assess other outcomes, such as the risk of specific diseases. It will be exciting to uncover these finer points. Please view the research paper if you want to read about this study. Please sign up via my link if you want to read more articles like this or start writing your own. I’d love to see you on the other side. ???????? Sign up here for your medium subscription. I get a portion of your monthly fee at no extra cost to you, and it will go a long way in supporting me as a writer. 

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