Walking 2,337 steps a day can lower disease risk: Study
The research advocates for governments to promote walking as a public health measure to counter rising obesity and heart disease rates
Increasing daily steps by 1,000 was associated with a 15% reduction in overall mortality risk, and a 500-step increase lowered the risk of heart disease-related death by 7% – (Representative Image: iStock)
Walking 2,337 steps a day has been linked to a reduced risk of disease, challenging the popular notion of aiming for 10,000 steps for good health.
Research indicates that as few as 2,337 daily steps can help lower the risk of premature death, and health benefits increase with higher step counts.
The study, which involved analysing data from 226,889 individuals across countries including the US, UK, Australia, and Norway, discovered that walking 2,337 steps daily significantly decreases the likelihood of dying from heart diseases or stroke, The Times reported.
Walking at least 3,967 steps daily reduces the risk of death from any cause. Surprisingly, the study identified no upper limit for step count benefits, as advantages continued up to 20,000 steps.
Increasing daily steps by 1,000 was associated with a 15% reduction in overall mortality risk, and a 500-step increase lowered the risk of heart disease-related death by 7%.
The findings underscore the potential of physical activity in preventing serious health conditions, potentially rivaling the efficacy of medications.
Professor Maciej Banach, the study’s lead author from the Medical University of Lodz in Poland, asserted that their study’s findings confirm the correlation between increased walking and improved health outcomes.
This relationship, he said, is consistent across genders, age groups, and geographical locations.
Additionally, professor Banach’s analysis indicated that merely 4,000 daily steps can lead to a notable reduction in overall mortality rates, while even fewer steps can decrease deaths related to cardiovascular disease.
He emphasised the significance of lifestyle adjustments, including dietary changes and exercise, as potentially more effective than solely relying on advanced medications to mitigate cardiovascular risks and enhance longevity.
However, it’s important to note that the study’s observational nature cannot establish a cause-and-effect relationship. The study included participants with an average age of 64.
Exercise’s impact on health is well-established, demonstrated to reduce the risk of various diseases, including dementia, certain cancers, and heart failure.
The NHS recommends adults aim for 150 minutes of moderately intense activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity weekly, such as walking, running, swimming, or playing sports.
The research advocates for governments to promote walking as a public health measure to counter rising obesity and heart disease rates.