Study shows walking speed is more important than number of steps

Monitoring Desk

LONDON: The findings of a study have shown that the speed with which we walk is as important as the number of steps we take.

Previously, studies have shown that walking 10,000 steps a day can lower the risk of serious diseases like dementia, cancer, and even early death.

However, recent research published in the journals Jama Internal Medicine and Jama Neurology suggests that a faster pace is equally important.

Therefore, it is important that for optimum benefits and “protective health benefits”, people aim for not only steps but also a faster walk, said author Dr Matthew Ahmadi, a research fellow at the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre and Faculty of Medicine and Health.

Even steps as low as 3,800 can help reduce the risk of dementia by 25%, said Borja del Pozo Cruz from the University of Southern Denmark.

Several studies have shown the benefits of walking even if a person walks 2,000 steps a day. The more people walk, the more they cut the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer incidence.

However, the significance of pace or the stepping intensity was found to be even more than the total daily steps.

People rarely think about the pace, noted Senior author Emmanuel Stamatakis, professor of physical activity, lifestyle and population health at the University of Sydney. He said that step count was widely understood because of the popularity of fitness apps and trackers.

Stamatakis added that their findings can help enhance programs that are aimed at averting chronic illnesses.

The study extracted data from the UK Biobank to come to a conclusion.