August 21, 2019 – New research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston suggests that the magical goal of 10,000 steps a day might not be the right number. The research, conducted among women aged 62 to 101, found that the quartile that averaged 4,400 steps a day had a 41% increase in longevity compared to the lowest quartile, which averaged only 2,700 steps. There were modest longevity gains in the third quartile (average of 7,500 steps), but no noticeable improvement in the 4th quartile (more than 7,500).
The magic number of 10,000 steps appears to have little if any scientific basis. It appears to have been started by a Japanese company that manufactured a pedometer, whose Japanese name meant 10,000 steps meter in English. One thing that 10,000 steps would do for you is to get you closer to an average of 30 minutes of exercise per day, although it is not clear that would result in an improvement over a more modest amount.
How many steps do you take a day?
All of this leads us to want to find out more about your exercise habits. Perhaps group encouragement can help us all improve, because what is the point of retirement if we are not healthy enough to enjoy it? Know also that as we age our muscles and bones get weaker, only exercise can help stave this off.
Please take a few minutes to answer some or all of these questions in the Comments section below (use a pseudonym if you want to remain anonymous):
- How many steps do you take in a day (such as, fewer than 5,000, more than 10,000, I have no idea, etc.
- Do you use an app or device to keep track? If so, which one (Fitbit, Applewatch, etc.)
- What is your major form of exercise?
- How many times a week or hours per week do you exercise?
- Do you do any kind of stretching?
- How would like you describe your overall physical condition (poor, average, great, etc.)?
PS – In case you didn’t realize it, most smartwatches do include a step counter. On an Iphone, for example, go to the Heart symbol (Health) and it will show your daily total as well as other facts.