1. Rosenberg, Karen


According to this study:


* Older women who walk more steps per day (up to approximately 7,500 steps) have lower mortality rates than less active women.


* The number of steps is more important than stepping intensity.



Article Content

The goal of 10,000 steps per day is generally recommended for maintaining health, but there is little evidence to support this goal. Using data from the Women's Health Study, researchers examined the association between mortality and the number of steps per day and stepping intensity.


Accelerometers were mailed to 18,289 women, who were asked to wear this device during waking hours for seven consecutive days. Only the 16,741 women who wore the device for 10 or more hours per day for at least four days were included in the analyses. The mean age of the participants was 72 years, and the mean step count was 5,499 steps per day. During an average follow-up of 4.3 years, 504 women died.


Mortality rates progressively decreased for increasing quartiles of steps per day, beginning at 3,000 to 3,999 steps per day and up to a threshold of approximately 7,500 steps per day. Women who averaged approximately 4,400 steps per day had a 41% lower mortality rate than those who averaged 2,700 steps per day. Higher stepping intensities were associated with lower mortality rates; however, after adjustment for the number of steps per day, all associations with stepping intensity were attenuated, and most were no longer significant.


The authors note that the women included in the Women's Health Study are mostly white, of higher socioeconomic status, and more active than a national sample. These results may not apply to other populations. In addition, only all-cause mortality was investigated.




Lee IM, et al. JAMA Intern Med 2019 May 29 [Epub ahead of print].