May 30, 2019

Association of step volume, intensity with mortality in older women

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor’s Note

In this study, women who averaged approximately 4,400 steps per day had significantly lower mortality rates than women who took approximately 2,700 steps per day.

Of 16,741 women with a mean age of 72 years analyzed, their mean step count was 5,499 per day. A step volume of approximately 4,400 steps per day was associated with a 41% reduction in mortality rate compared with 2,700 steps per day.

As more steps per day were accrued, mortality rates progressively decreased before leveling at approximately 7,500 steps per day. Stepping intensity was not clearly associated with lower mortality rates after accounting for total steps per day.

A goal of 10,000 steps per day is commonly believed to be necessary for health, but this number has limited scientific basis. The findings of this study may serve as encouragement to sedentary individuals for whom 10,000 steps per day pose an unattainable goal, the researchers say.

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