Better than statins? The everyday activity that could halve your mortality risk… 50



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Time and time again, we hear about the pros and cons of different medications. Statins, for example, help millions around the world lower their cholesterol – but as recently reported, they could also lead to faster ageing and a lower quality of life.

But sometimes, thankfully, the path to good health isn’t all that complex. Now we know of something that can have just as big an effect in reducing overall risk of death: simple day-to-day walking.

An staggering new Australian study has revealed that inactive people who increase their step count could nearly halve their risk of mortality.

This huge project followed 2,500 Tasmanians, who measured their steps via pedometer, over the course of a decade.

If you lead a sedentary life, just a tiny increase in daily steps – from 1000 to 3000, for five days a week – can reduce the risk of mortality by 12%, completely independent of other health factors such as smoking or weight.

Those who increased their step count to 10,000 (five days a week) had the risk of death lowered by nearly 50%.

The authors described these effects on mortality as similar to the overall benefits of statins.

It’s hardly news that walking is good for you. However, this is just one of many recent studies to reveal just how big a difference it can make.

Back in August, we learned that a brisk 25 minute walk each day could halve the risk of a heart attack. Researchers for that study suggested it could not only extend the lifespan, but stunt the process of ageing, improve mental sharpness and protect the brain against the onset of dementia.

They emphasised that it’s never too late to start, having recorded marked benefits among those who started improving their step count at 70 and 80 years old.

But is 10,000 steps truly a realistic goal? Not always, but there are some great techniques to slowly work up to it. Click here to read our guide on getting started!

Do you walk regularly? Do you keep a pedometer? And does this discovery make you want to walk more? 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

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  2. Yes I walk a lot in my job. Seem to get to 10,000 steps most days. I use a Fitbit and find it really motivating

  3. I just bought a Fitbit to try and improve my health and fitness. I’ve only been wearing it for just over a week and what a difference being able to track what I’m doing has made. I’ve now built my walking up to 7000 plus steps a day and have cracked the 10k mark a couple of times… Have sleep apnea and tracking my sleep has settled me down heaps. I’m now tracking my water consumption. I’ve struggled to loose weight…but being able to monitor myself has been a great motivator for me and finally I really feel I’m on my way to better health… Now I just have to find that knee brace and buy an ankle brace to cope with all this fitness hehe

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  4. I started wearing my Fitbit in April, I strive for between 10 to 20 thousand at least five days a week. I’ve cut out chocolate & lollies & cut right down on bread & I’ve lost 13kg!! 🎉🎉. I turned 61 last week! Best thing I ever bought!

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  5. I average about 4000 steps a day every day. Once a week i tend to get a few more in. My best is about 6000. I dont walk what you would call briskly but not really slow either. I was worried about not making 10000 steps but now, not so much.😊

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  6. For the last year or so I have tried to achieve 10000 steps a day. I have a Fitbit which certainly helps. Have been reasonably successful. Whilst travelling I was reaching 25000 steps most days. Good to know it is doing me some good!

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