Let’s Move

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For years, it was thought that walking 10,000 steps would prolong life but a new study has found that the optimal number of steps is actually lower, between 6,000 to 8,000, Science Alert reported.

Lead author Amanda Paluch and her colleagues explained that the assertion that 10,000 steps were the secret to a longer life was not exactly backed by science.

The health advice actually began as a marketing ploy after the 1964 Tokyo Olympics: The Japanese-based Yamasa Clock and Instrument Company, which wanted to cash in the buzz left by the event, developed a pedometer they called “Manpo-kei” – a word that translates into 10,000 steps.

The number of steps was considered a good round number that sounded both arduous and attainable.

Paluch’s team followed the health of, and amount of steps taken by, 47,000 adults on different continents. The researchers found that a quarter of the adults who walked the most each day lowered their chance of death by 40 to 53 percent compared with those in the bottom 25 percent of step-counts. The risk of death was also reduced in people over the age of 60, who walked between 6,000 to 8,000 steps a day.

The findings suggested that walking more didn’t exactly lower the chances of dying but it did provide other health benefits.

“The major takeaway is there’s a lot of evidence suggesting that moving even a little more is beneficial, particularly for those who are doing very little activity,” said Paluch.

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