A new study has revealed that walking at a brisk pace can overcome the 10,000 steps daily target and provide health benefits. It is well known that we are sitting more and taking on less physical activity.
This is problematic because it can lead to numerous negative health outcomes – early mortality is one of them. It is recommended that we at least try to get in 10,000 steps a day, but for many of us who do not achieve this goal, the latest findings suggest that the steps we do complete should be fast and efficient.
The study from Oregon State University found that as long as at least 3,000 of your steps are done at a brisk pace – and you limit your sedentary time – you can begin to improve your cholesterol levels. The average American reportedly completes between 5,000 and 7,000 steps per day.
John Schuna Jr., assistant professor of kinesiology in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences, explained, “When it comes to steps, more is better than fewer, and steps at higher cadences for a significant amount of time are beneficial. A good target for healthy adults is 150 minutes per week spent at 100 or more steps per minute. And in terms of time spent sedentary, less is better – you want to spend as little time not moving as possible within reason.”
Researchers analyzed data from 3,388 participants over the age of 20. Not only did the researchers look at minute-by-minute step data, but they also examined the relationship between step-defined physical activity and various cardiometabolic risk factors.
Among the male participants, just those in the top one-fifth of step-takers took more than the daily recommended steps, with a median of 12,334. For women, the median for the top quintile was 9,824.
The researchers also looked at “peak 30-minute cadence,” which is the average number of steps that were vigorous – these 30 minutes of steps weren’t necessarily consecutive.
On average, the median peak cadence was 96 steps per minute, which wasn’t too far from the recommended 100 steps per minute.
Analysis across all quintiles revealed a strong relationship between brisk walking being more favorable for improved numbers for cardiometabolic risk categories.
If you want to improve your health and lower your risk factors for illness, it is advised that more moving and less sitting is the key. Whether you are walking slow or fast, always avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time.
“Want to optimize those 10,000 (or fewer) steps? Walk faster, sit less,” Oregon State University, http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2016/oct/want-optimize-those-10000-or-fewer-steps-walk-faster-sit-less, last accessed October 14, 2016.