According to a study published Tuesday in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, walking just 4K steps a day could reduce the risk of dying prematurely from any cause.1
A team of researchers from the Medical University of Lodz in Poland and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the US drew on data from 17 previous studies involving 226,889 participants.2
The meta-analysis found that walking 3,967 steps a day could reduce a person's risk of early death and walking just 2,337 could lower the risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases.3
The study discovered that every 1K additional steps beyond the 4K reduced the risk of dying early by 15% up to 20K steps, adding the walking benefits applied to all genders, ages, and regions.4
Additionally, the study revealed that taking between 7K and 13K steps per day lowered the overall risk of death by 49% for people under 60. For people 60 and older, taking 6K to 10K steps daily lowered the risk by 42%.5
Concluding that anything below 5K steps a day is considered a "sedentary lifestyle," the researchers suggested that "every increase of steps by 500-1K steps/day may be associated with significant mortality reductions."6
Narrative A, as provided by The Sun. Millions of fitness tracking devices have been sold worldwide as lifestyle companions reminding health-conscious people that taking 10K steps per day is essential to reap health benefits. However, this study may come as a breath of relief for millions of people for whom 10K steps can feel far-fetched and defeating. Trying to walk about 4K steps a day consistently can improve their health, and any slight increase in step counts every day will likely enhance their longevity.
Narrative B, as provided by Express. This was an observational study, which is why its suggestions need to be confirmed in larger groups of people to prove that walking less than 4K steps per day could cause a reduction in the risk of death. Moreover, the impact of socioeconomic status and the methods for counting steps differed in all the studies included in the meta-analysis. Instead of focusing solely on step counts, lifestyle changes could also be emphasized in reducing cardiovascular risk and prolonging lives.