Walking At Least 5,000 Steps Daily Lowers Cardiovascular Death Risk, Study Shows

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A recent extensive analysis reveals that the minimum daily steps for health benefits are lower than previously believed. The study, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, indicates that taking around 3967 steps per day reduces overall mortality risk, while 2337 steps per day specifically lower the risk of cardiovascular disease-related mortality.

Walking enhances health outcomes

The study of 226,889 participants across 17 global studies revealed that increased walking is linked to improved health outcomes. With every additional 500 to 1000 steps taken, the risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular-related deaths notably decreases. Raising daily step count by 1000 steps correlated with a 15% lower risk of all-cause mortality, while a 500-step increase was connected to a 7% reduced risk of cardiovascular-related mortality.

Researchers, headed by Maciej Banach, a Cardiology Professor at the Medical University of Lodz, Poland, discovered that health benefits from walking persistently improve even at 20,000 daily steps, with no identified upper limit.

Prof. Banach indicated that their research establishes that increased walking has widespread benefits for people regardless of gender, age, or geographic location. Even a daily minimum of 4,000 steps is shown to notably lower overall mortality rates, with even fewer steps necessary to decrease cardiovascular-related deaths.

Sedentary life linked to increased cardiovascular risk

There is compelling evidence linking a sedentary lifestyle to heightened cardiovascular disease risk and reduced lifespan. Research indicates that inadequate physical activity affects over 25% of the global population, with a higher prevalence among women than men (32% vs. 23%) and individuals in wealthier nations (37% vs. 16%) compared to lower-income countries.

The World Health Organization reports that lack of physical activity ranks as the fourth leading global cause of death, causing 3.2 million annual deaths. The COVID-19 pandemic led to decreased physical activity, a trend that persists even two years later.

 Senior study author Dr Ibadete Bytyci said that there is uncertainty regarding the ideal number of steps in term of cut-off points over which health benefits can be visible and if there is an upper limit and the role it plays. 

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