Walking 4,000 steps a day linked to longer life

Many people around the world monitor how many steps they walk every day. This is due to studies that suggest 10,000 steps a day is enough to help us stay healthy and live longer. A new study says just 4,000 steps a day could be the magic number for us to live well into old age. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine analyzed 17 studies that looked at how far people walked during the week. The scientists concluded that 4,000 steps per day reduced the risk of dying from diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and other life-threatening conditions. Study author Dr Seth Shay Martin said 4,000 steps is roughly a 30- to 45-minute walk, or about three to four kilometres.

The study is published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. The research looked at health and exercise data from more than 225,000 adults worldwide over seven years. They had an average age of 64. Some people were in good health, while others suffered from heart problems. Dr Martin said his conclusion that 4,000 steps were beneficial was a minimum amount. He said: "I wouldn't want people to look at that as a magical number, that you must walk that exact step count. More is better." He added that walking an additional 1,000 steps per day is associated with a roughly 15 per cent lower risk of premature death. He said people should add at least one walk to their daily routine.