This is more important than walking 10,000 steps

This is more important than walking 10,000 steps

Taking 10,000 steps a day is a beneficial practice, which to a certain extent reflects people’s physical activity levels or living conditions close to nature. In fact, many have been practicing it for a long time.

But how to implement walking 10,000 steps a day may still be vague in our minds – the same 10,000 steps, using a casual walk or a brisk walk, can have very different effects. When we try to reach 10,000 steps, what speed or cadence should we adopt to get the best results?

Walk More, Live Longer: Walking is better than no walking

Many findings support the fact that increasing both walking time and speed can reduce the risk of all-cause mortality (ACM) and certain diseases. However, most of these findings are analyzed based on people’s self-reported walking speed, which may not be accurate. For example, there are differences between self-perceived walking speed and actual speed, and between activity time and intensity and memory of actual situations.

A collaborative study Danish, Australian and American researchers have finally made a breakthrough. They collected wrist accelerometer data – specifically and continuously – from 78,500 adults aged 40 to 79 in the United Kingdom (UK). The researchers tracked the data for an average of seven years, calculating the incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD). DementiaOr Death reveals how much daily steps and motions affect human health.

Through this test, people have a more intuitive understanding of how to maximize the benefits of walking and how to walk most efficiently when time is short.

Statistics show that ACM decreases as daily steps increase. When daily steps reach approximately 10,000 steps, the reduction in mortality is greatest, meaning that people who take 10,000 steps per day are least likely to die. Moreover, the mortality reduction effect is no longer visible.

Among all participants, only about one quintile was active with 10,000 steps daily. Still, a little walking is better than no walking at all. The data showed that for every 2,000 daily step increase within the 10,000-step range, ACM decreased by eight percent, cancer mortality by 11 percent, and CVD mortality by 10 percent.

A quick walk is better than a long walk

Increasing walking speed rather than following time or distance may achieve the best results.

The pace of walking varies constantly throughout the day, sometimes faster and sometimes slower. Researchers in the experiment, therefore, calculated each participant’s average steps per minute for the 30-peak minutes a day (peak 30-minute cadence). Results showed an additional 34 percent reduction in ACM among individuals in the highest 10 percent of walking speed compared to individuals in the lowest 10 percent. This suggests that brisk walking may further reduce mortality.

In the test, individuals with a maximum 30-minute cadence of less than 52 steps were classified as the slowest walkers; People with more than 96 steps are the fastest walkers. The death toll is significantly lower in the latter category.

How to Walk to Keep Dementia at Bay

Scientists then used the same data set to explore the effects of walking on dementia.

The risk of dementia was reduced by 51 percent with the greatest effect when daily steps reached 9,800 steps, beyond or below which the benefits were limited. In other words, It is recommended Walk 9,800 steps to prevent dementia.

9,800 steps per day may be difficult for most people. However, research suggests that those who don’t have time to walk or suffer from health problems can at least aim for the most basic goal of 3,800 steps daily, which also offers a 25 percent lower dementia risk.

Also, the same 9,800 steps, while brisk walking, had a better effect on reducing the incidence of dementia. Statistics show that walking 112 steps per minute has the best effect on reducing the incidence of dementia with a 62 percent reduction. Walking 112 steps per minute equals less than two steps per second. However, walking faster than this does not further reduce the risk of dementia.

Brisk walking reduces the risk of heart failure, stroke and many other diseases

Overall, brisk walking is more conducive to lower risk of ACM including cancer, CVD and dementia. There are many other studies that support this view with many other findings.

First, brisk walking also reduces mortality from respiratory diseases.

Some researchers divide walking speed into three categories: <3 mph (ঘন্টা প্রতি মাইল), কম গতি হিসাবে 3 থেকে 4 mph, এবং> 4 mph is a fast speed. They have nearly 320,000 UK adults self-rating their pace and walking time.

An average during the 5-year follow-up shows that a one-class increase in walking speed was associated with a 9 percent and 10 percent decrease in ACM in women and men, respectively. In women, brisk walking can reduce mortality from respiratory disease by 28 percent and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by 71 percent when compared to slow walking; Among men, the reduction is 24 percent and 51 percent, respectively.

Interestingly, the study also found that slow walkers had higher morbidity and mortality from CVD and respiratory disease, regardless of time spent walking. In contrast, those who walked briskly for moderate or short periods of time had lower morbidity and mortality from these diseases. Therefore, the researchers recommend less brisk walking, which may fit the busy schedule of modern humans and benefit those who fall short of the recommended amount of activity.

Second, brisk walking also reduces the risk of CVD, including heart failure.

American scientists tracked more than 25,000 women aged 50 to 79 for an average of 16.9 years and found that brisk walking had an effect on preventing heart failure.

in particular, Compared to casual walking (<2 mph), যে মহিলারা গড় গতিতে (2 থেকে 3 mph) বা দ্রুত গতিতে (>3 mph), respectively, had a 27 percent and 34 percent lower risk of heart failure. That is, brisk walking is better at preventing heart failure than casual walking and walking at an average pace.

On the other hand, if a person walks briskly for less than one hour per week, the risk of heart failure is the same as for casual walkers and average pace walkers who walk more than two hours per week. This indicates the importance of walking speed.

Brisk walking also reduces the risk of stroke.

Another study conducted a meta-analysis of seven studies involving 13,5000 participants and concluded: Brisk walking significantly reduces the risk of stroke.

Compared to individuals in the slowest walking-speed category (median = 1.6 km/hr [1 mph]), individuals in the fastest walking-speed category (median = 5.6 km/h [3.5 mph]) reduced the risk of stroke by 44 percent.

There is also a linear relationship Between walking speed and stroke risk: For every 1 km/h (0.6 mi) increase in walking speed, the risk of stroke decreases by 13 percent.

In another study excluding factors such as disease with a sample size of over 360,000 participants, have similar results. In adults older than 65 years, those who walk slowly (<3 mph) তাদের স্ট্রোকের ঝুঁকি 42 শতাংশ বেশি থাকে যারা দ্রুত হাঁটা (> 4mph).

How to most effectively take 10,000 steps

Adults and seniors (above 65 years) are Suggested involvement More than 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity and at least two days of muscle-strengthening activity per week. Walking at a pace of 2.5 to 4 mph classified As for moderate-intensity activity.

However, it can be difficult for many people to have an idea of ​​speed measurement in miles per hour.

As mentioned earlier, the stepping cadence that has the best effect on reducing the incidence of dementia is 112 steps per minute or about 3 mph (= 4.84 km/h = 1.34 m/s). Roughly speaking, walking about two steps per second is a relatively fast pace and cadence. With this cadence, walking 30 minutes per day, five days a week, will meet the weekly recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise.

Furthermore, for people with limited time and physical energy, a daily 30-minute brisk walk can achieve the initial goal of 3,800 steps per day recommended by research, thereby effectively reducing dementia risk. The remaining steps can be taken at a slower pace to complete the 10,000-step walk.

Those who are physically unable to walk briskly for 30 minutes, can start with a short time in the beginning and gradually increase the brisk walking time by five minutes a week to allow the body to adapt to the degree. It is also possible to combine fast walking and slow walking, where the fast walking time is 30 minutes.

Before starting brisk walking, 5 minutes of slow walking is necessary to warm up the ankle and knee joints. After a brisk walk, five to 10 minutes of physical relaxation can gradually slow heart rate and breathing.


[1] Del Pozo Cruz B, Ahmadi MN, Lee I, Stamatakis E. Prospective associations of daily step count and intensity with cancer and cardiovascular disease incidence and mortality and all-cause mortality. JAMA Intern Med. Published online September 12, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2022.4000

[2] Del Pozo Cruz B, Ahmadi M, Naismith SL, Stamatakis E. Association of daily step count and intensity with incident dementia in 78 430 adults living in the UK. Jama Neurol. 2022;79(10):1059–1063. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2022.2672

[3] Celis-Morales, Carlos A.1; Gray, Stuart1; Peterman, Fanny 1; ILIODROMITI, STAMATINA1; WELSH, PAUL1; LAYALL, DONALD M.2; Anderson, JANA2; PELLICORI, PIERPAOLO3; McKay, Daniel F.2; PELL, JILL P.2; Sattar, Navid1; Gill, Jason MR1. Walking speed is associated with a lower risk of all-cause and cause-specific mortality. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise: March 2019 – Volume 51 – Issue 3 – p 472-480
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001795

[4] Miremad MM, Lin X, Rasla S, El Melighy A, Roberts MB, Laddoo D, Allison M, Martin LW, Shadiab AH, Manson JAE, Klebowski R, Panzrath G, Lamonte MJ, Liu S, Eaton CB. Association of walking speed and incident heart failure and subtypes in postmenopausal women. J I Geriatric Soc. 2022 May;70(5):1405-1417. doi: 10.1111/jgs.17657. Epub 2022 Jan 20. PMID: 35048361.

[5] M. Kwan, P. June. Walking speed and risk of stroke: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. J Sport Health Sci, 9 (2020), pp. 521-529




Flora Zhao

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Flora Zhao is a health reporter for The Epoch Times. Have a tip? Email her: [email protected]

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