Is 4,000 Steps the New 10,000 Steps?

If you find yourself falling short of your 10,000-steps-a-day goal, don’t fret. Even if your step count is less than half of this benchmark, a new study suggests you’re still reaping some serious health benefits.

Research published Aug. 9 in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiologyfound walking just shy of 4,000 steps a day — 3,967, to be precise, or roughly 2 miles — can reduce your risk of dying from any cause, and taking 2,337 steps can lower your odds of dying from cardiovascular disease.

What’s more, the risk of dying from any cause or from cardiovascular diseasecontinues to decrease the more you walk. The researchers found an increase of 1,000 steps a day — that’s about 10 minutes of walking — was associated with a 15 percent reduction in dying from any cause; an increase in 500 steps was linked to a 7 percent reduction in dying from cardiovascular disease.

Ciaran Friel, an expert in physical activity and exercise behaviors at Northwell Health’s Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, says the study reinforces what health experts know and routinely preach: “Movement is good,” he says.

Physical inactivity is a leading cause of disease and disability, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and it’s a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer, osteoporosis, depression and anxiety. The WHO notes that inactivity is responsible for approximately 3.2 million deaths each year. In the U.S., about half of all adults don’t get enough exercise, federal data shows.

To learn more about the impact of everyday movement on your health, from AARP, CLICK HERE.