The more steps you take every day, whether they’re all at once or in short sessions, the more you’ll increase your life expectancy. At least, that’s what a new study suggests.
Longer and high-intensity workouts are not perfect for everyone. In fact, many people believe that they need to go to the gym and have long spurts of continuous exercise to stay in shape and live an active life. But that’s doesn’t work for all of us.
Here is what you need to know.
The Steps That Count
A new study suggests that we can get enough exercise to prolong our lives just by increasing the distances walked by small amounts. How so?
Researchers based their work on an experiment in which 16,732 participants over 60 (average age 72) in the Women’s Health Study wore an accelerometer for four to seven days. The results are genuinely intriguing.
When researchers conducted their examination, they categorized the total amount of steps every woman took as it follows:
- steps taken in shorts bouts during daily activities, like walking to and from the car or taking the stairs;
- steps taken during spurts of 10 or more minutes with few interruptions.
“This is just one study, but it suggests that there is a lot of flexibility in the way people can accumulate physical activity throughout the day,” explained Chris Moore, the study’s lead author.
Previous research was based on people’s memory of how much walking they did. That’s where the new study proves its accuracy and efficiency.
Moore and his team followed the participants, tracking deaths from any cause, for around six years. The results include 804 deaths happened during the entire study (2011 through 2019).
Moreover, the participants who took more steps in short bouts lived longer. But, participants who took 2,000 or more steps in 10 minutes or longer sessions and 3,000 steps in shorter sessions had a 32 % drop in the risk of death during the study.
Researchers say that we shouldn’t “plan” our steps. It has to come naturally, like taking the stairs more or walking further distances to different locations. Also, it would be best if you walk at a brisk pace.