Taking up to 10,000 steps each day may be associated with a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer and all-cause mortality, as well as the incidence of cancer and cardiovascular disease, according to research published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. .
A group of international researchers found in a September 12 study that higher step intensity may provide additional benefits.
The group used data from the UK Biobank study from 2013 to 2015, including 78,500 people in the study population, which included adults aged 40 to 79 in England, Scotland and Wales.
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Participants – 55% of whom were women with an average age of 61 and most of whom were white – were invited by email to take part in an accelerometer study.
UK adults wore Axivity AX3 wrist accelerometers, which measured daily step counts and established cadence-based measures of step intensity.
Their health monitored was an average of seven years.
Morbidity and mortality were determined up to October last year and data analyzes were performed in March 2022.
During these years, 1,325 participants died of cancer and 664 died of cardiovascular disease.
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Using statistical models, the researchers said that more daily steps were associated with a lower risk of mortality, as well as less incident disease.
“Steps taken at a higher cadence may be associated with additional risk reduction, particularly for incident disease,” the study noted.
Every 2,000 steps showed that the risk of premature death could decrease by 8% to 11%.
Study limitations include that the study design precludes the authors from making causal claims, that step count data were collected only once at study baseline, that covariates were not measure at the date of accelerometer wear, that some potential for reverse causality may still exist, that the UK biobank had a very low response rate and participants were not representative of the general UK population, that there may still be residual or unmeasured confounding and that the relative energy cost of walking and other daily activities is greater in the elderly.
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A related study published in JAMA Neurology also found that walking up to 10,000 steps a day, and more steps at a higher intensity, may be associated with a lower risk of developing dementia.