This is for us to share with our grandmothers.
By Amy Orciari Herman
Walking at least 4400 steps daily might help improve survival in older women, a JAMA Internal Medicine study suggests — welcome news for people who don’t hit the much-promoted goal of 10,000 steps daily.
Nearly 17,000 older women wore a hip accelerometer for 7 days to collect step counts. Participants were then divided into quartiles based on the median number of daily steps: 2700, 4400, 5900, and 8400.
During roughly 4 years’ follow-up, 3% of the women died. After adjustment for confounders like age, smoking, and comorbid conditions, women in the three higher quartiles of daily steps had significantly lower mortality risks — reductions of 46%, 53%, and 66%, respectively — than those in the lowest quartile. Mortality declined with increasing steps until roughly 7500 steps per day, at which point the benefit leveled off.
The researchers conclude, “These findings may serve as encouragement to the many sedentary individuals for whom 10,000 steps/d pose an unattainable goal.”