Walking up to 12,000 steps a day reduces your risk of premature death and lowers your blood pressure.
Two new studies have found this is all to do with the number of steps and not the speed or intensity (National Cancer Institute and University of California).
The standard for some time has been 10,000 steps and some research shows even 8,000 steps can have an advantage to your health. New research suggests the ideal number is higher than we believe. Now another incentive to make sure you are moving enough each and every day.
The study looked at 4,800 people and their health was assessed around 12 years later. Walking 10,000 steps per day had a 51% lower risk of premature death. Walking 12,000 steps a day had a 65% lower risk of premature death. This was almost entirely on the difference in the number of steps rather than the intensity.
The second study found walking also lowers systolic blood pressure.
Walking 10,000 steps per day versus 5,000 drops blood pressure by 2.25 points. The researchers tracked 638 people with an average blood pressure of 122/76. By walking more steps they were able to drop their systolic blood pressure to 'safe' levels.
Reference: American College of Cardiology 2020 scientific meeting, March 19 2020