Fewer than 5,000 steps a day is enough for fitness and healthy lungs - Institute for Respiratory Health

Fewer than 5,000 steps a day is enough for fitness and healthy lungs

Thursday, August 10, 2023 | News

In a world buzzing with health advice and fitness trends, the age-old prescription of walking 10,000 steps a day has taken a backseat with a new study showing fewer than 5,000 steps may be enough to see a benefit.

The analysis of more than 226,000 people around the world showed 4,000 was enough to start reducing the risk of dying prematurely of any cause.

Just over 2,300 is enough to benefit the lungs, heart and blood vessels.

The more you do, the more health benefits are seen, researchers said.

Every extra 1,000 steps beyond the 4,000 reduced the risk of dying early by 15 per cent up to 20,000 steps.

According to World Health Organization data, insufficient physical activity is responsible for 3.2 million deaths each year – the fourth most frequent cause worldwide.

Professor Yuben Moodley from the Institute for Respiratory Health says any activity is better than none, “It’s about getting active, not just your step count. Whether you’re healthy or have a lung condition, regular exercise improves the quality of your life.

“What we should be aiming for is about 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, this can have a big impact on your fitness and your lungs.

“It can help impove your immune system, helping you fight colds and flu, strengthen your muscles and boost your energy levels.”

Professor Moodley suggests housework, taking the dog for a walk, doing the shopping and walking to the car as ways of keeping active stating it’s the little things that can make a big difference.

The research was undertaken by the Medical University of Lodz in Poland and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the US found the walking benefits applied to all genders and ages, regardless of where they lived. However, the biggest benefits were seen among the under-60s.

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