Increasing Steps Decreases Mortality in Older Women

Physical activity recommendations specify getting at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. For many people, they aim to obtain 10,000 steps per day. Recent research has outlined the association between steps and mortality in older women. Researchers studied the association between the number of steps per day and the risk for death in older women. They found that 4,400 steps per day may decrease the risk of all-cause mortality. The risk for death fell with every increase in number of steps, with the effects appearing to level off at 7,500 steps per day. 

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The general assumption has long been to get 10,000 steps per day, however, there is no clinical research that supports this number. When comparing the women with the fewest steps, women who took 4,363 steps per day decreased their all-cause mortality risk by 41%. Those who had 5,905 steps per day decreased their risk by 46% and there was a 58% reduction for the group with the most steps. Researchers found that there was a 15% decreased risk for every 1,000 steps per day until 7,500 steps. 

Researchers note that counting steps may be more clinically significant and easier than trying to count minutes of physical activity per day. This finding is encouraging for sedentary individuals who may not realistically achieve 10,000 steps per day. The Healthy Lifestyle Center can help by providing consultations specific to physical activity. We can assist with providing support for increasing your steps were day to promote improved health. 

By Matt Lewandowski 

Sources: More Steps Per Day Tied to Lower Mortality in Older Women. Veronica Hackethal, MD – Medscape – May 29, 2019.; Lee, I., et al. (2019). Association of step volume and intensity with all-cause mortality in older women. JAMA Internal Medicine.