Research: Walking lowers mortality

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Elderly Couple Walking on Beach
Elderly Couple Walking on Beach

Walking tied to lower mortality.

With the title of the forum, would you expect no less than this title? We have all been taught that the goal of 10K steps is the key to weight loss and health success. The fact is that this goal is probably still a good goal, but it is not necessarily a goal base don science and a smaller goal might have benefits. I have written prior articles on the 10,000 step goal and prior research that have pointed toward other step goals.

This most recent research was published in JAMA​[1]​ and points to a goal of 4400 steps daily. The research looked just under 17,000 older women who and accelerometer for a week to collect step counts. Subjects were then randomized into four groups by the number of daily steps. The groups accomplished 2700, 4400, 5900, and 8400 steps daily. The researchers found that participants with 4400 to 8400 steps had reduced mortality of 46-66%. This change was significant.

The bottom line: Walking appears to improve survival in older women. There is no reason to believe this effect is limited to females. I suggest that you add walking to your exercise routine. This research should serve as an encouragement to be less sedentary with as little as 4400 steps being helpful. Just go do it.


  1. [1]
    I.-M. Lee, E. J. Shiroma, M. Kamada, D. R. Bassett, C. E. Matthews, and J. E. Buring, “Association of Step Volume and Intensity With All-Cause Mortality in Older Women,” JAMA Intern Med, May 2019 [Online]. Available:
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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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