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2,000 Extra Steps a Day Tied to Heart Health

Update Date: Dec 20, 2013 11:10 AM EST
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Studies have found that exercise in general is beneficial for both physical and mental health. For people who cannot perform intense exercise routines, brisk walking can be an effective, alternative option. In a new study, researchers set out to identify the ideal number of steps people should take in order to be healthy. The scientists concluded that an extra 2,000 steps could make a difference.

For this research, the team analyzed data on 9,306 adults from 40 nations. The adults were all participating in NAVIGATOR. The participants were all instructed to exercise 150 minutes per week as a part of the weight loss program. The volunteers were given a pedometer to track their steps. Based from the data collected in the pedometers, the researchers used statistical modeling to examine the relationship between the number of steps and the relative risk of cardiovascular events within a year. The researchers took into account the participants' diet and history of heart events.

"If subject A took 4000 steps per day at the start of the study and did not change their activity levels over the next 12 months, and subject B took 6000 steps per day at the start of the study and increased their activity levels to 8000 steps per day over the next 12 months, by the end of the study [other things being equal] subject B would have an 18% lower risk of cardiovascular disease," the researchers wrote according to TIME.

The researchers calculated that 2,000 steps was the key number. The researcher reported that before the study, every 2,000 steps was linked to a 10 percent reduced rate of heart issues. During the study, the researchers found that this same number of steps was tied to an additional eight percent-reduced risk of heart disease. Based from the findings, the researchers stated that exercising might be a lot easier than some people would think.

The study was published in The Lancet.

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