Taking 8,000 steps a day, equivalent to walking approximately 6.4 km, can provide significant health benefits, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. This challenges the commonly held belief that 10,000 steps a day is necessary for optimal health.
The Optimal Number of Steps for Health Benefits Revealed
A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has identified the optimal number of steps at which most people obtain the greatest health benefits. Contrary to the popular belief that 10,000 steps a day is necessary for optimal health, the study suggests that taking 8,000 steps a day can be sufficient.
Lead author Francisco B. Ortega, a Professor at the University of Granada’s Department of Physical Education and Sports in Spain, explains that the idea of 10,000 steps a day originated in Japan in the 1960s but had no scientific basis. The study, which conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis of data from twelve international studies involving over 110,000 participants, shows that the more steps you take, the better, with no excessive number of steps proven to be harmful to health.
Small Increases in Steps Can Lead to Measurable Benefits
The study also found that measurable health benefits can be obtained with small increases in the number of steps per day. For individuals with low levels of physical activity, every additional 500 steps can improve their health. This is encouraging news for those who may not be able to walk almost 9,000 steps a day initially. Setting small, achievable goals and gradually increasing the number of steps per day can still lead to improved health.
Esmee Bakker, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Granada, emphasizes the importance of these findings. The study’s results align with other recent studies that have shown health benefits can be obtained at less than 10,000 steps a day. It is crucial to note that there was no difference in results between men and women, indicating that these findings are applicable to everyone.
The Role of Walking Pace
The study also reveals that the pace at which you walk provides additional benefits. While the specific details of the study’s findings on walking pace are not mentioned in the provided information, it suggests that faster walking may have an impact on health outcomes. Further research would be needed to explore the relationship between walking pace and health benefits in more detail.
The new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology challenges the long-held belief that 10,000 steps a day is necessary for optimal health. Instead, it suggests that taking 8,000 steps a day can provide significant health benefits. Small increases in the number of steps per day can lead to measurable improvements in health, making it more attainable for individuals with low levels of physical activity to gradually increase their step count. This study highlights the importance of regular physical activity and provides a more achievable goal for individuals looking to improve their health through walking.