According to a meta-analysis published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, it is not necessary to achieve the recommended 10,000 steps per day in order to see health benefits. The analysis included data from 17 studies and 226,889 individuals and found that walking any amount, even if it seems small, can have positive effects on health. Walking 3,967 steps or more each day was found to reduce the risk of death from any cause, while walking 2,337 or more steps each day lowered the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
This research is particularly significant as many individuals struggle to reach the 10,000-step goal. Dr. Keith Ferdinand, the chair of preventative cardiology at Tulane University School of Medicine, commented on the difficulty patients face in achieving this goal. He emphasized that while the 10,000-step recommendation is not necessarily wrong, the research provides the public with confidence that even moderate activity is better than none.
Furthermore, the study revealed that the more steps a person takes, the lower their risk of premature mortality. Those who walked 20,000 steps or more each day had the lowest risk. While it is important to note that any level of activity is beneficial, those who are able to safely achieve the recommended 10,000 steps may see even greater benefits.
Dr. Ferdinand also suggested various ways to incorporate physical activity into daily life. He mentioned that activities such as moderate housekeeping, gardening, walking with children, and walking dogs can contribute to the recommended 150 minutes of moderate activity. Dr. Ferdinand also highlighted the importance of safety and weather conditions when going for walks, particularly during hot summers.
In conclusion, the research indicates that movement of any kind is valuable for health. While achieving the 10,000-step goal is not necessary, moderate activity is better than none. The study serves as motivation for individuals, particularly those aged 60 and older, to engage in regular walks. However, it is important to remember that more activity is generally better, and individuals should strive to do more if they can do so safely and comfortably.