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Walk Your Way to Better Health: How Many Steps a Day Can Reduce Heart Disease and Early Death?

As a lifestyle medicine doctor, I am excited to share some important findings from a recent study titled "Do the associations of daily steps with mortality and incident cardiovascular disease differ by sedentary time levels?" published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The study followed 72,174 participants, with an average age of 61 years, for nearly 7 years. Here's what they found:

How Many Steps?

  • Minimum Daily Steps: The study found that the optimal number of steps per day for reducing the risk of all-cause mortality (which means risk of dying from any cause) ranged from 9,000 to 10,500 steps for both high and low sedentary time groups.

  • For Heart Health: When it comes to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), the magic number of steps per day was around 9,700 for both high and low sedentary time groups.

  • Even a Little Helps: Any amount of steps above 2,200 steps per day (which was the lowest amount in the study) showed lower risks of mortality and heart disease, regardless of how much time was spent being sedentary.

What Does This Mean for You?

  1. Daily Target: Aim for at least 9,000 to 10,500 steps per day for the best protection against early death, regardless of how much time you spend sitting.

  2. Heart Health: For reducing the risk of heart disease, around 9,700 steps per day is ideal, whether you have high or low sedentary time.

  3. Start Small: The study found that even just 4,000 to 4,500 steps per day, which is about double the lowest amount (2,200 steps), was associated with a 50% reduction in the risk of both mortality and heart disease.


Every step counts! Walking more each day, especially reaching 9,000 to 10,500 steps, can significantly lower your risk of early death and heart disease. Remember, even starting with a modest increase from your current step count can make a big difference.

So, let's lace up those walking shoes and start stepping towards better heart health and a longer, healthier life!

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