People across the globe seeking better health judge their volume of daily exercise by whether they’ve reached a target of 10,000 steps.
But do you really need to reach that number to experience health benefits?
In a study published in “JAMA Internal Medicine,” a team of researchers from Harvard Medical School, the National Institute on Aging, the University of Tokyo and other institutions examined the relationship between steps per day and mortality among thousands of older women.
Researchers found study participants didn’t need to reach the 10,000-step threshold to experience better outcomes, though their research reaffirmed a strong relationship between exercise and longer life.
“The study in question suggests that any activity, such as walking, reaps health benefits,” explains Dr. Gerald Harmon, vice president of medical affairs for Tidelands Health and a family medicine physician who has been practicing for more than 30 years. “The 10,000-step standard may be artificially high if the target is improved health rather than the higher goal of conditioning and weight loss, which are both improved with more extensive exercise.”