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Presented at the American Heart Association’s epidemiology, prevention, lifestyle and cardiometabolic health conference 2021, these were their findings. Study participants who took more steps in short spurts lived longer – regardless of how many steps they had taken in longer, uninterrupted walks. By the time somebody had reached 4,500 steps in a day, the health benefits were said to have “levelled off”.

True to form, daily steps warranted more longevity than living a sedentary lifestyle.

Each initial increase of 1,000 steps per day was associated with a 28 percent decrease in death during a six-year follow-up period.

In tandem, participants who took more than 2, allied industrial services llc 000 steps daily in uninterrupted bouts had a 32 percent reduced risk of death.

Lead study author, Christopher Moore – a PhD student in epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – commented on the work.

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“Technological advances made in recent decades have allowed researchers to measure short spurts of activity.

“With the help of wearable devices, more research is indicating that any type of movement is better than remaining sedentary.”

For the research, 16,732 women wore a waist step counter that measured their daily steps and walking patterns for four to seven days.

All the women were over the age of 60 – averaging 72 years of age – and were divided into two groups:

  • Those who did 10 minutes or longer bouts of walking
  • Those who did short spurts of walking.

Examples of short spurts of walking

  • Doing housework
  • Taking the stairs
  • Walking to or from a car.

In a follow-up period, for an average of six years, 804 deaths have occurred.

From the dataset, the researchers were able to come to their conclusions about daily steps and longevity.

Moore said: “Our current results indicate that [longevity] holds even for women who did not engage in any uninterrupted bouts of walking.

“Taking 2,000 or more additional steps during bouts [of activity] was associated with further benefits for longevity.”

Thus, the minimum number of steps one has to take to reap the health benefits of walking is 1,000 steps during the day – even if it’s in short bursts of activity.

As the participants were older, mostly non-Hispanic white women, further research is needed to determine if the results apply to:

  • Men
  • Younger women
  • Different ethnicities.

The American Heart Association’s fitness guidelines for adults recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate activity.

Alternatively, a person can do 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity weekly.

The NHS identified what is classified as “moderate” or “vigorous” activity.

Moderate activity

  • Brisk walking
  • Water aerobics
  • Riding a bike
  • Dancing
  • Doubles tennis
  • Pushing a lawn mower
  • Hiking
  • Rollerblading.

Vigorous activity

  • Running
  • Swimming (fast)
  • Riding a bike fast or on hills
  • Walking up the stairs
  • Sports, like football, rugby, netball and hockey
  • Skipping
  • Aerobics
  • Gymnastics
  • Martial arts.

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