A few years ago, it became accepted wisdom in many fitness circles that we should all aim to walk 10,000 steps every day.
Many people attempted to reach that amount using daily fitness monitors, and some periodically questioned whether 10,000 actually represented some sort of significant milestone.
It turns out: New research indicates that it is.
According to a study published in JAMA Neurology, walking roughly 10,000 steps per day was associated with a lower risk of dementia, 13 types of cancer, and cardiovascular illness, including heart disease, stroke, and heart failure.
Depending on your stride, 10,000 steps is equivalent to walking four to five miles.
However, according to the most recent studies, you need to take fewer to have a positive impact on your health. For instance, according to the research, doing 3,800 steps a day reduces the risk of dementia by 25% but 9,800 steps reduce the risk by 50%.
According to a related study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, taking 2,000 steps a day can reduce your risk of dying young by 8% to 11%.
According to The Washington Post, “both trials included roughly 78,500 people, all middle-aged and older, who wore a gadget on their wrist to assess physical activity and whose health was tracked for a median of seven years.”
The studies discovered that increasing walking intensity also boosted the health advantages. Beyond the benefit gained from increasing daily step count, The Post reported that faster walking was associated with a lower risk of dementia, heart disease, cancer, and early mortality.
“The take-home message here is that people could not only ideally aim for 10,000 steps a day for preventative health advantages but also seek to walk faster,” said Matthew Ahmadi, co-lead author and research fellow at the University of Sydney.