You Don't Need 10,000 Steps Per Day - A Harvard Study Suggests

Sunday 1 September 2019
Are you having a hard time reaching the 10,000 mark on your daily step tracker? It looks like you shouldn’t be guilt-ridden if you end your day short of the 10k benchmark after all.

Although there is a lack of scientific evidence, it’s been a common public belief that 10,000 steps a day is a goal we should all strive for if we want to live a little longer. However, a new study from Harvard Medical School claims we may not actually need to.

 You Don't Need 10,000 Steps Per Day - A Harvard Study Suggests

The study, which was published in the Journal of American Medical Association Internal Medicine, claims that achieving even only half of that can be linked to a decreased risk for early deaths in older women.

The study followed 16,741 women, with a mean age group of 72, for four years. The women wore trackers to measure their step count and speed during their daily activities. During the study’s 4-year period, 504 of these women died.

More Daily Steps, Longer Life

The research found that women who has an average of 4,400 steps per day had significantly lower mortality rates than those who averaged only 2,700 daily steps. The lower death rates progressively decreased with additional steps, however, this leveled off at approximately 7,500 daily steps. No effect on life longevity was added by hitting the 10,000 goal.

“Just do a little bit. If you just do a little bit, you're better off” said co-author I-Min Lee, a professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, to Time.

“I think it’s encouraging that you can get significant health benefits with less steps. But if you do 10,000 steps, then more power to you”, Lee adds.

The study only looked at mortality rate in relation to the volume of daily steps. It did not consider quality of life and other daily habits, so there is definitely more research to be done.

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