A new study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology has found that walking as few as 3,967 steps a day can reduce the risk of dying from any cause, and 2,337 steps a day can reduce the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. The study analyzed 226,889 people from 17 different studies around the world and found that the more you walk, the greater the health benefits. Every 500 to 1000 extra steps walked was associated with a significant decrease in the risk of dying from any cause of cardiovascular disease
The More You Walk, The Better
The study found that even if people walked as many as 20,000 steps a day, the health benefits continued to increase, and there was no upper limit yet. The researchers, led by Maciej Banach, Professor of Cardiology at the Medical University of Lodz, Poland, and Adjunct Professor at the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, found that this applied to both men and women, irrespective of age, and irrespective of whether you live in a temperate, sub-tropical or sub-polar region of the world, or a region with a mixture of climates.
Walking Can Reduce Deaths from Any Cause
The study indicates that as little as 4,000 steps a day are needed to significantly reduce deaths from any cause, and even fewer to reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease. The researchers found that an increase of 1000 steps a day was associated with a 15% reduction in the risk of dying from any cause and an increase of 500 steps a day was associated with a 7% reduction in dying from cardiovascular disease.
Walking is a Simple Solution
The study confirms that walking is a simple solution to improve health and reduce the risk of death. A sedentary lifestyle may contribute to an increase in cardiovascular disease and a shorter life, and insufficient physical activity affects more than a quarter of the world’s population. According to World Health Organization data, insufficient physical activity is the fourth most frequent cause of death in the world, with 3.2 million deaths a year related to physical inactivity.
Personalizing Lifestyle Changes
Prof. Banach emphasizes that lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, might be at least as, or even more effective in reducing cardiovascular risk and prolonging lives, and we should always think about personalizing lifestyle changes. The study is the first to assess the effect of walking up to 20,000 steps a day and to look at whether there are any differences depending on age, sex, or where in the world people live.
Walking as few as 4,000 steps a day can reduce the risk of death, but the more you walk, the greater the health benefits. Every 500 to 1000 extra steps walked was associated with a significant decrease in the risk of dying from any cause of cardiovascular disease. Walking is a simple solution to improve health and reduce the risk of death, and we should always think about personalizing lifestyle changes.