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Step up! Getting more steps reduces obesity, other health risks

Footwear on female feet running on road
Posted at 11:58 AM, Oct 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-11 14:58:08-04

A study published this week in Nature Medicine suggested that those who are mildly overweight and walk 6,000 steps a day can lower their risk of obesity by 64% by increasing their daily step count to 11,000.

In addition to obesity, the research found a lowered risk of other sorts of diseases like diabetes and sleep apnea with higher step counts. The researchers noted, however, that the risk of hypertension was lowest among those who walk 8,000-9,000 steps a day. The study indicated that higher step counts did not tend to lower the risk of hypertension.

Researchers from Vanderbilt University said they tracked 6,000 adults using Fitbit devices from 2018 through 2021.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that walking can be an excellent way to stay in shape.

“Walking is a great way to get the physical activity needed to obtain health benefits,” the CDC said. “Walking does not require any special skills. It also does not require a gym membership or expensive equipment. A single bout of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity can improve sleep, memory, and the ability to think and learn. It also reduces anxiety symptoms.

The research mainly consisted of white women and those with college degrees. They are hopeful that following studies will include a more diverse field of subjects.