For your daily steps goal, what is more important? Overall step count or step intensity?

It is a well-known fact that activity has a positive influence on your health. More you walk, longer you live! Nowadays the wearables, phones and other fitness trackers can help to measure exact number of steps you take. Reaching the goal of 7,000 to 10,000 steps per day may yield significant health benefits.


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Having said that, how fast should you walk? Does walking uphill versus downhill matter? To answer these questions, researchers conducted an interesting study and published their findings in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in spring of 2020. They studied activity levels of close to five thousand participants and followed them over ten years on an average. Over this period, around 24% of participants passed away from various causes. Cardiovascular disease and cancer were the top causes of death.

The groups with higher number of steps from higher activity levels saw lesser deaths from all causes as compared to those with lower number of steps. The researchers also observed that the intensity or speed of steps did not have any impact on these findings. In other words, a person who runs to get 10,000 steps and another person who walks to get 10,000 steps had similar benefits.

Oftentimes it is difficult to reach your daily steps goal during busy work days. Following ideas may help to get close to that goal:

  • Walk with your morning coffee or tea

  • Walk the kids to school if the school is not too far

  • Park little far from office, stores etc. to get a quick walk

  • Take stairs instead of elevators if you can

  • Take intermittent walk breaks at work

  • Walk during your remote meetings, online lectures etc. (especially when you just need to listen)

  • Play tag, soccer and other outdoor games with your kids

  • Watch your favorite show on tablet or cardio equipment screen while working out

  • Walk your pet


I am sure you can come up with more of such creative ideas! The key is to keep moving!


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