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Research reveals ideal number of steps per day

Research reveals ideal number of steps per day How many daily steps are needed for health? (Collage: RBC-Ukraine)

It is widely believed that the journey to a healthy and long life begins with taking 10,000 steps every day. For those leading a sedentary lifestyle, this target may seem like a challenging goal that requires some effort. However, in reality, the number of steps needed can vary for different groups, writes The Lancet.

Researchers analyzed data from tens of thousands of individuals across four continents and determined a more convenient figure: the optimal daily step count is 6000, depending on your age.

Walking more than this is beneficial for health but may not significantly impact longevity. Essentially, humans are designed for movement. Evolution shaped our physiology to cover long distances easily, dissipating heat as we swing back and forth like pendulums, traversing landscapes in search of water and food.

This means our metabolism, cardiovascular system, impact on bones and muscles, and even mental health are tuned to value a good walk. Incorporating such walks into our busy schedules serves us well, aiding in living longer, healthier, and happier lives.

In the past, pedometers and fitness bracelets were released, setting the mythical 10,000-step goal. However, it's more of an old but effective marketing tactic, as this figure is a nice, round number that sounds challenging enough to become a goal. However, it lacks scientific backing.

In 2021, a specific study involving middle-aged participants revealed that taking 7000 steps a day reduces the risk of premature death by 50-70%.

For adults aged 60 and older, the norm is between 6000 and 8000 steps per day, while for younger individuals, 8000 to 10,000 steps daily is considered optimal.

The study also showed that physical activity of at least half an hour a day can be just as beneficial as a walk, especially for those with a sedentary lifestyle. Incorporating strength training in old age helps keep the brain sharp and hearts and bones healthy.

At least, aiming for a minimum of 6000-8000 steps before bedtime can be a significant step toward a healthier life.

Previously, we discussed exercises that burn more calories than running.