Is it essential to take 10,000 steps a day to maintain good health? In any case, it is necessary, because the more you walk, the greater the benefits, as revealed by a new international study. But the latter also suggests that taking 4,000 steps daily could already be enough to reduce the risk of death from all causes. Explanations.
The recommendations are clear: taking 10,000 steps a day would preserve your health. This is also the threshold to reach to receive an alert on your smartphone, and to be congratulated for having traveled the distance necessary to keep in shape. But a new study conducted among more than 200,000 people reveals that it would not be essential to do the same to see the first health benefits appear. This does not mean that you have to walk less, but that the risk of death reduces significantly as the number of steps increases, and this from 4,000 steps if we focus on all the causes of death.
A minimum of 2,337 steps per day
Published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, this work was carried out on 226,889 people from 17 different studies around the world, followed on average for seven years. At the end of their research, the scientists estimated at 2,337 the number of daily steps necessary to reduce the risk of death associated with cardiovascular disease. A number that climbs to 3,967 daily steps to reduce the risk of death from all causes. Be careful however, it is not a question of walking less. The study does confirm that the more you walk, the greater the health benefits, up to (at least) 20,000 steps per day.
“Our study confirms that the more you walk, the better. We found that this applied equally well to men and women, regardless of age, and whether you live in a temperate, subtropical region. or subpolar part of the world, or in a region where the climates mix”, underlines Professor Maciej Banach, lead author of the study, in a press release. This work shows that the risk of death drops significantly as soon as an individual takes 500 to 1,000 additional steps daily. In detail, an increase of 1,000 steps per day is associated with a 15% reduction in the risk of death from all causes combined, and an increase of 500 steps with a 7% reduction in the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
Fight against sedentary lifestyle
The researchers were able to observe that the health benefits continued to increase up to 20,000 steps per day, the limit of steps analyzed for the purposes of this study. They say, however, that data remains limited for participants who took 20,000 daily steps, and that further research needs to be conducted with a larger group of people to confirm these results. In any case, they believe that walking, regardless of the number of steps, is essential today, if only to fight against a sedentary lifestyle, considered one of the evils of the century.
“In a world where we have increasingly sophisticated medicines to treat specific conditions such as cardiovascular disease, I think we should always emphasize that lifestyle changes, including diet and physical exercise could be at least as effective, if not more effective, in reducing cardiovascular risk and prolonging the life of those affected”concludes Professor Maciej Banach.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), physical inactivity is responsible for 3.2 to 5 million deaths each year worldwide. The world health authority recalls that 70% of the population do not apply the recommendations for physical activity in the world – namely a moderate intensity endurance activity at least 150 to 300 minutes per week for an adult aged 18 to 64.