Research: More steps equals lower mortality rate

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More steps and higher Intensity linked with a lower mortality rate in adults.


I think we are all looking for something to motivate us to exercise more.  Although we all suspect that exercise will help us lower our risk of premature death, there is very little evidence in research to back up any suggestion to exercise more to lower your risk. The good news is that researchers are beginning to look for evidence to back walking more to lower your risk.

In 2020, a new study looked at the number of steps and step intensity as a means to lower the risk of early death. The goal of the study was to describe the dose-response relationship between step count and intensity and mortality. The researchers took a representative sample of US adults aged at least 40 years in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey who wore an accelerometer for up to 7 days ( from 2003-2006).

In this observational study, 4840 participants were followed. An accelerometer was used to measure the number of steps per day and 3 step intensity measures. The primary outcome was a measure of all-cause mortality. Participants wore accelerometers for a mean of 5.7 days for a mean of 14.4 hours per day. The mean number of steps per day was 9124. There were 1165 deaths over a mean 10.1 years of follow-up, including 406 Coronary Vascular Deaths.

It has always been unclear whether the number of steps per day and the intensity of stepping are associated with lower mortality, but the data appears to support The date indicated that the greater step intensity was not significantly associated with lower mortality after adjustment for total steps per day but the number of steps along were associated with a lower risk.

The bottom line: Based on a representative sample of US adults, a greater number of daily steps was significantly associated with lower all-cause mortality. There was no significant association between step intensity and mortality after adjusting for total steps per day. If you need more motivation to add walking to your weight loss plans, look no further.

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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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