No longer 10,000 – new optimal number of steps per day

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Until now, 10,000 steps per day was the official recommendation. But a new study shows that even less is enough.

How many steps have you walked today? It’s never been easier to find out because it only takes a glance at your smartphone. Most devices have a pedometer installed. This makes it easy to monitor daily exercise, which we all do too little of anyway. Active mobility strengthens health and has a positive effect on the quality of life. Regular exercise counteracts obesity, reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke, and has a preventive effect on cancer.

Those who sit the whole day can integrate movement into everyday life. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator for a change is a first step. It’s not about getting to the 5th floor as quickly as possible but finding your pace. Even if you only walk one foot, you’ve made a start. If you walk a bit home after work, you are doing more.

Sitting for hours on the job every day is so unhealthy.

With all of these measures, we are accumulating steps. 10,000 has become established as the optimum, although this was originally an advertising stunt by a Japanese company that wanted to sell pedometers during the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. However, scientists now claim that even 8,000 steps are enough to significantly reduce the risk of early death. The study was published in JAMA Network Open.

The team from the University of California, Los Angeles (USA) examined data from 3,101 adults with an average age of 50 who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys in 2005-2006 and wore an accelerometer for one week. Their death certificates were also examined ten years later.

The higher the days participants took 8,000 steps, the lower their risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality after ten years. Participants who managed 8,000 steps or more only one or two days a week also had significantly lower all-cause and cardiovascular mortality risks. Reaching the benchmark of 8,000 degrees had a much greater effect among participants aged 65 or older. Seniors who did not get 8,000 steps on any day of the week had an overall mortality risk of 40 percent. Reaching that goal one to two days a week reduced the risk to 20 percent, and three to seven days dropped it as low as 12 percent.

Thus, 8,000 steps a few days a week can have significant health benefits for people struggling to find regular physical activity due to work or family commitments. “Given the simplicity and ease of daily step counting, the recommended number (…) may be a feasible option for individuals who want to stay healthy but cannot do it daily,” the researchers said.

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