Even 5,000 Steps Has a Health Benefit, Study Suggests

August 10, 2023 2 min read

walking on a treadmill article

Latest Research on Walking Benefits

A new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine has found that taking fewer than 5,000 steps a day can still have health benefits. The study, which looked at data from over 226,000 people, found that people who took 4,000 steps a day had a 28% lower risk of dying prematurely than those who took less than 2,000 steps a day. And for every 1,000 steps they took above 4,000, their risk of dying prematurely decreased by another 7%.

The participants' average age was 64, and 49% were female. The mortality risk reduction was lower in those 60 years of age and older than in those under 60. Those older persons who walked between 6,000 and 10,000 steps per day had a 42% reduction in risk, whereas younger adults who walked between 7,000 and 13,000 steps per day saw a 49% reduction in risk.

The study's authors say that these findings suggest that even a relatively small amount of physical activity can have a significant impact on health. They also say that the benefits of walking are cumulative, so the more steps you take, the better.

Of course, 5,000 steps is just a general guideline. The amount of steps you need to take to improve your health will vary depending on your individual fitness level and goals. If you're new to walking, start with a goal of 2,000-3,000 steps a day and gradually increase it from there. And don't forget that any amount of physical activity is better than none!

Some tips for getting more steps in your day:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
  • Park further away from your destination.
  • Get up and move around every 20-30 minutes.
  • Take a brisk walk during your lunch break.
  • Go for a walk after dinner.
  • Walk your dog.
  • Join a walking group or class.
  • Buy a treadmill & walk and talk your meetings.

Even if you can only manage a few thousand steps a day, it's still better than nothing. So get moving and start reaping the health benefits of walking!

Here are some additional things to keep in mind:

  • The quality of your steps matters as much as the quantity. Aim for brisk walking, which means that you can talk but not sing.
  • If you have any health concerns, talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
  • Make walking a part of your daily routine and it will become easier and more enjoyable over time.

Other Health Benefits for walking

In addition to the health benefits mentioned above, walking 5,000 steps a day can also help you:

  • Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
  • Reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.
  • Improve your mood and sleep quality.
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles.
  • Enhance your balance and coordination.
  • Reduce your risk of falls.
  • Improve your overall fitness and well-being.

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