Best Life: Forget 10,000 steps, how much is enough?

Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 7:18 AM CST
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ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire)– When it comes to tracking your fitness, you might have heard that 10 thousand steps is the target goal to reach each day. But do you really need that many? What’s ideal for heart health or for losing weight?

Three-thousand, eight-thousand, 15-thousand steps… how much do you do a day?

Most fitness trackers recommend a goal of ten-thousand steps a day, or about five miles. But it turns out, there’s not a lot of scientific support behind this number.

A 2019 Harvard study found regular walking did improve mortality rates in older women. But the reduction in risk appeared to max out at about 7,500 steps a day. A 2020 NIH study of almost 5,000 men and women found those who walked eight-thousand steps a day were half as likely to die early than those who walked four-thousand steps a day. But the statistical benefits of walking more steps than that were not significant.

The important thing is that you move every day. Regular walking has been shown to promote weight loss, reduce your risk of disease, and improve energy. A recent estimate found most adults in the U.S., Canada, and other western nations average fewer than five-thousand steps a day.

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