According to a new study, older women who walk a little over three kilometers every day may live longer than less active women the same age.
Many Americans hoping to stay healthy have set a daily target of 10,000 paces eight kilometers. They often have that goal because they wear electronic devices that set that goal, researchers in the United States say. Their findings appeared recently in the publication JAMA Internal Medicine .
However, it is not clear how important intensity or speed is if the health benefits of all are taken into account, the researchers write. You add that 10,000 steps per day may not be the right destination for everyone.
For the study, researchers observed 1
The researchers examined women on average much later, about 4.3 years later. Since the study began, 504 women had died. Compared to women who did not walk more than 2,718 steps a day, the likelihood of women dying at least 4,363 steps per day was 41 percent lower.
"Even a modest number of steps is associated with a lower probability of mortality ," said I-Min Lee, the lead author of a report on the study. She is a medical doctor at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
The women who took more steps had "lower mortality rates up to 7,500 steps per day for which no further decline was observed," Lee told Reuters. "In these older women, the cadence was insignificant. It was the number of steps that mattered.
This suggests that the number of steps for a long life in older women is more important than the intensity.
The study had some limitations. For example, the researchers measured women's movements only once at the beginning of the study period. It is possible that women's behavior has changed over time.
Yet, the findings are "good news for older adults who may have difficulty walking faster," said Keith Diaz, a researcher at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. He was not involved in the study.
"Every walk is better than nothing," Diaz said via email. "Even if you walk on a small scale, your risk of death is drastically reduced."
"Other studies have shown that any form of aerobic activity offers health benefits," he added.
Swimming, cycling, cranking, or any type of activity that is inherently continuous brings health benefits. "I am John Russell. Lisa Rapaport reported on this story for Reuters. John Russell has adapted her story to VOA Learning English. George Grow was the publisher.
words in this story  matter – v. be of importance
Advantage – n. Well-being; Satisfaction; Profit from something
Modest – Adj. not very big or not very high
Mortality – n. The death of a person or an animal
Starting – n. turning or bending something
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