The exact number of daily steps you need to live longer – and it’s not what you think | The Sun

WALKING an extra 500 steps a day could boost your heart and help you live longer, doctors claim.

Researchers found adding the yards to your routine could reduce your risk of heart disease by 14 per cent.

The study of around 450 over-70s showed the steps — which amount to a quarter of a mile — also reduced the chances of stroke and heart failure by the same amount.

Dr Erin Dooley, of the University of Alabama, said they are an achievable target for older adults looking to keep in shape.

She said: “It’s important to maintain physical activity as we age, however, daily step goals should also be attainable. 

“We were surprised to find that every additional quarter of a mile, or 500 steps, of walking had such a strong benefit to heart health.

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“While we do not want to diminish the importance of higher intensity activity, encouraging small increases in the number of daily steps also has significant cardiovascular benefits. 

“If you are an older adult over the age of 70, start with trying to get 500 more steps per day.”

Around 7.6million Brits live with heart disease, which is one of the main causes of death and disability in the UK and kills around 460 people a day.

High blood pressure and cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, being overweight and not exercising enough all increase the risk.

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Previous studies have shown walking just 11 minutes a day can slash the chances of developing it, even though the strolls fall short of the NHS’s target of 2.5 hours per week.

The latest research was presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology, Prevention, Lifestyle & Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2023.

Researchers analysed data from 452 adults that wore step counters on their hip for at least ten hours, over three days or more.

They then followed up with the participants three-and-a-half years later to see whether they had developed heart disease.

Those who walked around 4,500 steps a day were 77 per cent less likely to have heart disease, stroke or heart failure than adults walking 2,000 steps or less daily.

Just 3.5 per cent of those walking 4,500 steps suffered one of the conditions, compared to 12 per cent in the 2,000 steps or less group.

Dr Dooley said: “Steps are an easy way to measure activity, and more daily steps were associated with a lower risk of having a cardiovascular disease-related event in older adults.”

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