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Walking Faster, Not Farther

Study shows walking pace affects benefits.

View of person's foot as they are walking faster with dog

10,000 steps a day may reduce disease risks, but new research shows that walking faster may provide even more benefits than step volume alone, according to two studies published in JAMA Neurology (2022; 79 [10], 1059–6372) and  JAMA Internal Medicine (2022; doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2022.4000).

Study findings are based on data from more than 78,500 U.K. adults ages 40–79 who wore wrist trackers. “The take-home message here is that for protective health benefits people could not only ideally aim for 10,000 steps a day but also aim to be walking faster,” said co-lead author Matthew Ahmadi, PhD, research fellow at the University of Sydney.

“For less active individuals, our study also demonstrates that as low as 3,800 steps can cut the risk of dementia by 25%,” said co-lead author Borja del Pozo Cruz, PhD, from the University of Southern Denmark and senior researcher in health at the University of Cadiz in Spain.

See also: Walking Speed: A Predictor of Functional Health

Shirley Eichenberger-Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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