Are 10,000 Steps Necessary?

Fewer steps matter for older women.

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA
Sep 23, 2019

Are some of your clients obsessed with achieving their step counts every day? While 10,000 steps is a popular marker, it turns out that taking as few as 4,400 steps per day is associated with a lower risk of death for women with a mean age of 72 years.

“Clearly, even a modest number of steps was related to lower mortality rate among these older women,” said principal investigator I-Min Lee, MBBS ScD, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Among the findings: Health benefits seem to top out at 7,500 daily steps. This does not address recommended quantities for weight loss, however, and while 10,000 steps may be based on arbitrary marketing, it’s still a worthy goal. The message: Any step amount, not just the 10,000-step mark, has merit.

The study was published in JAMA Internal Medicine (2019; doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.0899).


Shirley Archer, JD, MA

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