To Your Health
February, 2020 (Vol. 14, Issue 02)
More Steps = Longer Life
By Editorial Staff
Sounds simple enough – and research is proving it. If you're a senior, particularly an older woman, remember this simple formula: more steps equal a longer life. That's the conclusion of a large U.S. study involving more than 18,000 women (average age: 72 years) from the Women's Health Study. Participants agreed to wear an accelerometer to track steps during waking hours over a seven-day period. Steps and several measures of stepping intensity were variables assessed, and researchers tracked mortality (death) from any cause over a four-year period to correlate steps taken with mortality.
According to findings, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, "as few as approximately 4,400 steps/d was significantly related to lower mortality rates compared with approximately 2,700 steps/d. With more steps per day, mortality rates progressively decreased before leveling at approximately 7,500 steps/d. " Just as significant, "Stepping intensity was not clearly related to lower mortality rates after accounting for total steps per day."
In other words, it doesn't really matter how you get your steps as long as you get them! And keep in mind that while this study involved older woman, one can reasonably assume that older men can also benefit from taking a few more steps every day. Talk to your doctor to learn more, especially if you have a health condition that increases your risk of balance / falling issues when walking.