Updated: Dec 16, 2019
With the rise of wearable tech like Fitbits and smart watches, we all have heard we should take 10,000 steps a day for better health.
But why 10,000? What’s so special about that number?
It turns out that figure is more than twice as high as it needs to be, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
It looked at more than 16,000 women with a mean age of 72. Women who averaged about 4,400 steps a day had much lower mortality rates – about 41 percent lower – than women who took 2,700 steps a day, the study said. “As more steps per day were accrued, mortality rates progressively decreased before leveling at approximately 7,500 steps per day.”
The idea of 10,000 being the standard? Turns out that has “limited scientific basis.”
One of the study’s authors says that number might’ve come from a 1960s Japanese pedometer with a name that means “10,000 steps.”
Regardless, it's best to take this as further encouragement to move your body daily. Walking is a great start, but you also need resistance training, more challenging cardio work, and agility.
All studies agree that people who are stronger, have better cardiovascular health, and maintain balance are likely to live longer than people who are not healthy. The best medicine for prevention is, you guessed it, exercise.
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