Walking for longevity: Just 8,000 steps, once or twice a week, cuts mortality risk
We all know that walking helps with weight loss and but a new study published in the journal JAMA Network Open claims that it has several other health benefits too. The paper claims that walking 8,000 steps, which is about 6.4 kilometres, once or twice a week lowers the mortality rate and reduces the risk of early death.
Researchers from Kyoto University and the University of California analysed data from 3,100 American adults for this study. They found that those who walked intensely for a few days a week were 14.9 per cent less likely to die over a 10-year period than those who never reached that mark.
The mortality risk went down by 16.5 per cent in participants who walked 8,000 steps or more three to seven days a week. The health benefits of walking intensely appeared higher for participants aged 65 years and older.
"The number of days per week taking 8,000 steps or more was associated with a lower risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality," the researchers said. "These findings suggest that individuals may receive substantial health benefits by walking just a couple of days a week."
During the research, 632 participants took 8,000 steps or more zero days a week, 532 took 8,000 steps or more one to two days a week and 1,937 took 8,000 or more steps three to seven days a week.
Another study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that 11 minutes a day of moderate-intensity physical activity such as a brisk walk could lower the risk of deadly diseases such as heart disease, stroke and a number of cancers.
Professor James Woodcock from the MRC Epidemiology Unit, who was part of the research team, said, "We know that physical activity, such as walking or cycling, is good for you, especially if you feel it raises your heart rate. But what we've found is there are substantial benefits to heart health and reducing your risk of cancer even if you can only manage 10 minutes every day."