A study has been investigating the popular belief that 10,000 steps day is enough to stay healthy. But what is their reasoning behind this and how many steps do you really need to do to stay healthy?
For ages now, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended making at least 10,000 steps to stay in shape. However, one study conducted by Harvard Medical School has called that figure into question.
How many steps does you really need to do?
To investigate the effects that walking has on our health, scientists analysed 16,741 healthy Americans using acceleration sensors, electronic wristwatches and pedometers.
The aim of this study was to find out what influence walking has on a person’s life expectancy and the results were rather interesting. As it turns out, 4,400 steps a day is actually enough to lower a person's mortality rate. A scientist explained to publication Le Parisien:
For the people who did 4,400 steps a day, their mortality rate was lower than those who did 2,700 steps a day. The mortality rate progressively declined with more activity, but tapered off at 7,500 steps a day.
The ideal number of steps
The ideal number of steps to keep your mortality rate at its lowest is therefore considered to be around 7,500 steps a day. However, walking is also a great way to break down fat mass, but that’s not all! You should also be eating five different fruits and vegetables a day, not smoking and only drinking alcohol in moderation.
In layman's terms, although 7,500 steps a day is now considered enough to increase your life expectancy, that doesn’t mean that you can just forget about other exercise or strength training.
This is especially true for the elderly, as the research and development organisation INSERM confirmed back in 2017:
Sports and exercise are still the best preventive measures for chronic diseases.