Do we really need 10K steps a day to live longer?

Back in the 1960s, a pedometer made by a Japanese company was named 

Manpo-kei.When translated into English it comes out to be 10,000-step meter.

So, that’s where researchers think it all started. This idea that taking 10,000 steps a day would increase a person’s longevity,

New research has found that neither 10,000 steps a day nor the speed nor the intensity of each step is really needed to encourage longevity in an individual life, especially in women.

A recent study was done which included 17,000 women whose average age were around 72 years.  The study found that if women in the study got only 4,400 steps in a day their risk of dying was cut by 41% when they were compared to women who only walked 2,700 steps daily. And women received additional benefits up to 7,500 steps per day but then their risk of dying sooner leveled off when they recorded steps over the 7,500 mark.

Dr. I-Min Leewho is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s School of Public Health, and the lead author of the study, says studies have shown that the average American walks at least 4,400 to 5,000 steps daily.

Lee also says that although the message of the study isn’t new it proved at least for women that physical activity is good.  What was a surprise was how little is necessary to make  difference in promoting longevity in a person’s life.

The researchers also looked back on records over a four year period for a large group of older women who used a device to measure their activity during waking hours for seven days. The device measured steps and speed of each activity for 2,700 up to 8,500 steps.

The follow-up study showed that the risk of dying early was reduced by 46% with women who recorded 5,900 steps when compared to women who took the least amount of steps or activity. While the highest group with 8,500 or more steps had a 58% lower risk of dying earlier.

Also through this study it revealed that you can walk slow or walk fast. It didn’t matter.

What is important, Lee said, is knowing that blood pressure, blood sugar processing and cholesterol levels, as well as better thinking, memory skills and one’s quality of life improve with daily activity.

Just moving around is good for you, Lee says. Which means you don’t have to go to a gym.  You can do it right at home by taking stairs, getting up and moving during commercial breaks on the TV, walking a pet or playing with your grandkids and when you’re out, park your car far away and put in those extra steps.