To Your Health
June, 2024 (Vol. 18, Issue 06)
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Steps ... or Time?

By Editorial Staff

Counting steps or counting minutes – which matters more when it comes to staying active when we're older? A new study involving women in their 60s examined which is associated with greater protection against all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease. Findings may make you re-examine whether you should be using your smartwatch to track time or count steps when you exercise.

Researchers analyzed data from the Women's Health Study, which included women ages 62 and older at baseline. The data: 1) time spent participating in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and 2) step counts, measured with an accelerometer for seven consecutive days.

Steps vs. Time - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Both time spent and steps achieved reduced the risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease during the nine-year follow-up period, with more time / more steps equally contributing to longer periods of time without dying or developing CVD. Both exercise strategies "were qualitatively similar in their associations with all-cause mortality and CVD."

So, what's your preference: steps or time? That's really what it boils down to, according to this study, whose findings appear in JAMA Internal Medicine. If you can't seem to find the motivation to do either, ask your doctor for help outlining a consistent physical activity regimen suitable for your health goals and schedule.