Just 4,400 steps a day tied to women living longer, study says

We’ve all heard the advice to take 10,000 steps a day, but is that precise number really necessary to reap health rewards?

The optimal number may be much less dependent on your age, new research suggests. Women whose step counters reached 4,400 each day had a 41% lower rate of death than women who took 1,700 fewer steps each day, a gtx_ads_conf.ads["ad-manager-118463"]= {"custom_css":[],"ad_details":[{"min_width":"","max_width":"","dfp_ad_sizes":[{"dfp_ad_width":"300","dfp_ad_height":"250"}]}],"ad_id":118463,"ad_container":"div-ad-manager-118463","ad_placement":"in-article","ad_name":"ad-manager-118463","position":"in_article","article_position":1,"out_of_page_ad":null,"lazyload":"global"};

“We need to figure out ways to keep ourselves motivated and make healthy behaviour a habit,” she wrote. “Whether it’s a step count prescription from a doctor, an on-line group where you track steps, or a friendly competition at the workplace — all can help you have a longer and healthier life.”

Steven Blair, a professor emeritus at the University of South Carolina, told CNN in an email that major strengths of the new study include “objectively measured physical activity” and a conclusion that specified an exact number of steps per day.

Blair, who was not involved in the new study though he’s done his own similar research, said that inactivity is the “biggest public health problem of the 21st century.” One of the study’s most important findings, then, is “the value of doing at least some activity and it does not need to be at a high intensity,” he said.

In Lee’s words: “If you do nothing, do something. Get your steps up to 4,500 and you will start seeing benefits. For people who are willing to do more, by all means.”

“And if it makes you feel good to do 10,000 steps versus 7,500, I say, ‘Go for it!’ “