Runners and run specialty shops know that walking can be just as good for a healthy lifestyle as an actual run, and a recent article on cnn.com underscored that impact and just how important even just a little bit of exercise a day can be to a person. It is information retailers should certainly share with their staff and customers.
In fact, according to the CNN report written by Sandee LaMotte, taking 8600 steps a day will prevent weight gain in adults, while already overweight adults can halve their odds of becoming obese by adding an additional 2400 steps — that’s 11,000 steps a day, according to new research.
Many studies have shown show the average person gains between one and two pounds each year from young adulthood through middle age, slowly leading to an unhealthy weight and even obesity over time.
“People really can reduce their risk of obesity by walking more,” study author Dr. Evan Brittain, associate professor in the division of cardiovascular medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, says simply.
The new study also found key benefits for chronic diseases and conditions: “Diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, diabetes, depression, and GERD showed benefit with higher steps,” Brittain says in the CNN article.
“The relationship with hypertension and diabetes plateaued after about 8000 to 9000 steps, but the others were linear, meaning higher steps continued to reduce risk,” he adds. “I would say that the take-home messages are that more steps are better.”
It’s yet another study illustrating the powerful impact that walking and other forms of exercise have on our health. In fact, if you get up and move for 21.43 minutes each day of the week, you cut your risk of dying from all causes by one-third, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
An increase in steps can help with chronic conditions such as diabetes and depression, the study says.
“Physical activity is just absolutely magnificent,” Dr. Andrew Freeman, director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness at National Jewish Health in Denver, told CNN in an earlier interview.
The study analyzed an average of four years of activity and health data from more than 6000 participants in the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program, dedicated to research on ways to develop individualized health care.
“Our study had an average of four years of continuous activity monitoring. So, we were able to account for the totality of activity between when monitoring started and when a disease was diagnosed, which is a major advantage because we didn’t have to make assumptions about activity over time, unlike all prior studies,” Brittain says.
Among the other findings of the study:
- Enter your email to subscribe to the CNN Five Things Newsletter.People who walked four miles a day — about 8200 steps — were less likely to become obese or suffer from sleep apnea, acid reflux and major depressive disorder.
- Overweight participants (those with BMIs from 25 to 29) cut their risk of becoming obese by half if they increased their steps to 11,000 steps a day. In fact, “this increase in step counts resulted in a 50 percent reduction in cumulative incidence of obesity at five years,” the study found.
- Individuals with BMIs of 28 could lower their risk of obesity 64% by increasing steps from about 6000 to 11,000 steps per day.
- The same research team also recently published a similar studythat found walking 10,000 steps a day lowered the percent; the riskdecreased by 25 percent with as few as 3,800 steps a day.
However, if walking occurred at a brisk pace of 112 steps a minute for 30 minutes, it maximized risk reduction, leading to a 62 percent reduction in dementia risk. The 30 minutes of fast-paced walking didn’t have to occur all at once either — it could be spread out over the day.