Walking is such a necessary and healthy exercise that, at least in older women, it seems to reduce overall mortality if an average of 4 400 daily steps.
This is what a new study in more than 16,000 women with an average age of 72 years.
In the investigation they analyzed several factors, the intensity, the steps, the time, the duration of the exercise, the constancy ... in a total of 16,741 women.
Women who averaged approximately 4,400 steps per day had significantly lower mortality rates during a 4.3-year follow-up compared to less active women who made approximately 2,700 steps per day.
The participants were divided into quartiles according to the median daily steps: 2700, 4400, 5900 and 8400. As more steps per day accumulated, mortality rates progressively decreased before leveling up, to walk approximately 7500 steps per day.
The intensity of the steps was not directly related to lower mortality rates after counting the total steps per day. That is to say, that seems to matter more than intensity.
Due to the observational nature of the study, the authors cannot definitively separate the cause of the correlation. However, the team took several measures to try to ensure that the association observed was more causal, such as excluding women with heart disease, cancer, diabetes ... The findings are also supported by previous experiments that show that physical activity causes beneficial changes in short-term health markers, such as blood pressure, insulin / glucose levels, lipid profile, inflammation and others.
The study mainly included older white women, and additional studies in younger and more diverse populations will be needed to determine if the findings are applicable to other groups, especially those who, on average, can take more measures. Other results, such as quality of life and the risk of specific diseases, were not evaluated, but will be addressed in future studies.