MAny of us have smartwatches or apps on our phones that count the number of steps we take. Typically, we aim to reach at least 10,000 steps a day, which we are often reminded of that our goal is to help us get better. Health. The target is an arbitrary number that seems to have come from a Japanese Marketing Campaign for a Pedometer. However, it is now included in the daily activity goals by popular smartwatches such as Fitbit.
When trying to be more active, it can often be demoralizing when you look at your step count and realize you haven’t reached that goal of 10,000 steps. In fact, it can even be demotivating, especially at a time when many of us are still working from home and manage to walk from our makeshift offices to the kitchen only to get our (usually) unhealthy snacks. We do.
The good news for everyone is that there is evidence that walking less than 10,000 steps is still good for your health. The most recent large study led by University of Massachusetts, followed more than 2,000 middle-aged adults of various ethnic backgrounds over a period of 11 years. The researchers found that those who walked at least 7,000 steps a day had a 50 to 70 percent lower risk of dying during the study period than those who took fewer than 7,000 steps a day.
Another interesting finding from the study was that the risk of dying was not associated with step intensity. If two people took the same number of steps, the person doing them at a low intensity did not have a higher risk of dying than the person doing them at a moderate intensity.
As with all research, we need to consider study design and determine research boundaries to ensure accurate conclusions are drawn. The study, led by the University of Massachusetts, collected data over a period of about 11 years. However, the number of steps was measured only once in a three-day period during 2005-06. Mortality and other health measures were followed in August 2018.
The step count was not monitored during the study period, as it would be too difficult for the participants. Therefore, there was a big assumption that the number of people’s daily steps did not change during the study period. But how much people can walk can change for a variety of reasons, such as having young children, commuting time for work, injuries, and many other factors, so it’s difficult to draw much conclusions from this type of data.
Earlier evidence points in the same direction
Based on results obtained from the University of Massachusetts study results Harvard Medical School Which showed that an average of about 4,400 steps a day during the study period is enough to significantly reduce the mortality rate of older women. However, these participants were older than in the Massachusetts study (median age of 72 years), which may explain why the lower step rate reduced the study’s mortality rate. Older adults may need less activity to receive the same health benefits.
However we have to be cautious about how we interpret the data from these different studies. It is clear that there are health benefits to taking less than 10,000 steps a day.
whereas World Health Organization While adults are advised to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise) a week, there is no guideline for an easily measurable step count. This is due to the limited number of studies showing an association between step count (and intensity) with health outcomes.
It is clear that more research is needed to help define daily step volume and intensity, to provide people with an easy quantitative tool to determine activity levels. This can help increase the general physical activity level of the public where currently one in four of the global population Do not meet recommended levels.
The next time you see that your daily step count is less than 10,000 steps, don’t be discouraged and remember that doing about 7,000 steps will bring you some health benefits. If you want to improve your health by increasing the amount of steps you take, Research has shown that increasing your daily steps to 1,000 a day has great benefits.
Lindsey Bottoms is a Reader in Exercise and Health Physiology at the University of Hertfordshire. This article first appeared on Conversation
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /