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Forget 10,000 Steps: Reducing ‘Fatal’ Health Risks the 70s Way

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A study found that an extra 500 steps a day at age 70 can significantly reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

The researchers found that those who walked the extra quarter mile daily had a 14 percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

The researchers say the results show that setting “achievable goals” on fitness trackers can help maintain good health into old age.

The researchers said most of the research has focused on adults in early to middle age with daily goals of 10,000 steps or more, which may be out of reach for older adults.

So, in their study of 15,792 adults with an average age of 78, they wanted to focus on the health effects of daily step counting in older adults.

The team analyzed health data from over 450 participants who used a pedometer worn on their hip to measure their daily steps.

The device was worn for three days or more, for 10 hours or more, and averaged about 3,500 steps per day.

About 7.5% of the participants had a cardiovascular disease such as coronary heart disease, stroke, or heart failure within the next 3.5 years.

Compared to those who took less than 2,000 steps a day, those who walked about 4,500 steps a day had a 77% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Only about 3.5% of participants who took about 4,500 steps a day had cardiovascular disease, compared with about 12% of older adults who took fewer than 2,000 steps a day during the follow-up period.

According to the findings presented at the American Heart Association conference, every additional 500 steps per day reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by 14%.

“It’s important to stay physically active as you age, but daily step goals also need to be met,” says Erin E. Dooley, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Alabama who led the study. “We were surprised that every additional quarter mile, or 500 steps, of walking has such strong benefits for heart health.”

She added: “While we don’t want to underestimate the importance of high-intensity physical activity, encouraging a slight increase in daily steps also has significant cardiovascular benefits. And if you’re an adult over 70, start by trying to get an extra 500 steps a day.” “.

More research is needed to determine whether increasing the number of steps per day prevents or delays the development of cardiovascular disease, or whether fewer steps may be an indicator of underlying disease.

Source: Daily Mail

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