If the idea that we should all be walking 10,000 steps a day as a minimum goal sounds intimidating, here’s good news for those that may by a few steps behind.

Researchers led by Dr. I-Min Lee at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School set out to study how many steps in a day would it take to show a significant decline in mortality. They studied 16,741 women with an average age of 72 years and published the results in JAMA Internal Medicine.

On average, the women in the study walked 5,499 steps per day. And the good news – even though that number is only a little more than half of 10,000, the study found that number may be beneficial in extending life. In fact, the researchers found that a few as approximately 4,440 steps per day was significantly related to lower mortality rates compared to those who only took approximately 2,700 steps per day.

And what about going the extra mile? It turns out that more steps progressively showed a decline in mortality but the rates level off until after approximately 7,500 steps per day.

Want some ways to sneak in some more walking? Mayo Clinic has suggested the following tips:

  • Take the dog for a walk – whether it is yours, tagging along with a friend who has one, or volunteering at a shelter. Animals can have additional positive effects on people, too, so this could be a win-win solution.
  • Step to the beat. Music can motivate and make the activity more enjoyable.
  • Make it family time. Go together and have a good chat along the way!
  • Walk while waiting. Instead of sitting while waiting for an appointment or a flight, take a lap around.
  • Walk and talk. Ever watch a show, like The West Wing and notice that a lot of dialogue takes place while walking down a hallway? Even if not as busy as a fictional president, it could be a good idea to meet with a colleague while taking a walk, or walk to their desk instead of sending an email.
  • Park farther away. Choose parking spots farther away from the entrance. If taking public transportation, get out a stop early and walk the rest of the way.

© 2019 Silver Disobedience Inc.