Dr Amir says 10 minutes of walking a day reduces risk of death
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For most people, walking could be an easy and cheap way to exercise. It doesn’t require any equipment, aside from a pair of comfortable shoes. And it’s a form of exercise that could be fit around one’s daily routine. Recent research suggests that walking on a daily basis can “optimally improve adult’s health and longevity”.
The study compared data from around the world, involving almost 50,000 people.
It argued that “walking at least 7,000 steps a day reduced middle-aged people’s risk of premature death”.
Study authors commented: “The oft-repeated 10,000-steps-a-day mantra grew out of a decades-old marketing campaign for a Japanese pedometer, with no science to back up the impact on health.”
This research, instead, focused on analysing data on a global scale, concluding that “taking more steps a day helps lower the risk of premature death”.
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The research found that people aged 60 and older wouldn’t need to walk any longer than 6,000 to 8,000 steps a day to stay healthy.
Walking more steps for people in this age group “provided no additional benefit for longevity”.
Whereas, adults younger than 60 “saw the risk of premature death stabilize at about 8,000-10,000 steps per day”.
Researchers noticed an “incremental reduction in risk” as steps increased until the risk levelled off.
The study found no association between the total number of daily steps and walking speed.
This means that getting the heart rate up when walking is not essential to increase longevity.
“Getting in your steps, regardless of the pace at which you walked them, was the link to a lower risk of death,“ argued researcher Amanda Paluch at the University of Massachusetts.
“Moving even a little more is beneficial, particularly for those who are doing very little activity,” she said.
Physical activity guidelines in the UK for people aged 19-64 recommend doing at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week.
The NHS also suggests reducing the time spent not moving, sitting down, or lying.
A very short or longer walk could be a good chance to do some physical activity and reduce the risk of death by all causes.
In people who walk a lot every day, there was a 40-53 percent lower risk of death, the study found.
“Steps are very simple to track, and there is a rapid growth of fitness tracking devices,” said Paluch.
Squeezing more steps into the daily routine could be easier for people spending time outside the house.
However, a good way to add more steps in could be walking around the house for chores, cleaning, walking to the sound of music, or walking in place while watching TV.
Just adding more steps into one’s daily routine could improve sleep quality, mental health, and cardiovascular health.
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