Getting daily steps in linked to a ‘strikingly lower risk’ of a cardiovascular event for over 60s

Dec 22, 2022
Previous studies have highlighted the benefits of walking to overall health. Source: Getty Images.

The benefits of walking for cardiovascular health have long been touted by health professionals, but now researchers have found that over 60s can “significantly” reduce their risk of heart attack or stroke by reaching a certain step goal each day.

The Prospective Association of Daily Steps With Cardiovascular Disease: A Harmonized Meta-Analysis study led by Amanda Paluch, assistant professor of kinesiology in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst found that older adults who walked between 6,000 and 9,000 steps per day were at a 40 to 50 per cent reduced risk of a cardiovascular event, compared to those who walked 2,000 steps per day.

“We found for adults over 60, there was a strikingly lower risk of a cardiovascular event or disease over an average follow-up of six years,” Paluch said.

“When accumulating more steps per day, there was a progressively lower risk.”

The latest finding follow previous research by Paluch and the Steps for Health Collaborative that found more movement, even below the recommended “10,000 steps per day” was linked to benefits associated with longevity

The  analysis of 15 studies involving approximately 50,000 participants across four continents found that walking between 6,000 and 8,000 steps per day was linked with a lower risk of death from all causes among older adults.

walking pace.
Source: Getty Images.

Previous studies have linked the benefits of walking to overall health, recently Australian and US-based research of 17,000 people, aged 65 or older, found walking slowly can be an early sign of cognitive decline.

“These findings underscore the importance of the method in assessing dementia risk,” sais Daya Collier, a research fellow at Monash University School of Peninsular Medicine in Victoria, Australia.

Their research suggests that GPs and clinicians implement a simple memory and walking-speed test in their practice to help identify if an elderly person is at risk of dementia, allowing them to introduce preventative measures early on.

Though previous studies have looked into the links between a person’s cognitive decline and dementia, this was the first research effort that used walking and memory tests to determine a person’s risk of dementia.

Fellow author and the director of Monash University’s National Centre for Healthy Aging, Velandia Srikanth, says these tests and treatments could also work for people facing memory difficulties.

“They would be the ones to try to make sure that their blood pressure is well controlled, that they are physically active, that they have a good diet, that they connect socially … all the good things that hold off the risk of dementia,” Srikanth said.

“We don’t have many successful treatments at the moment, but if they do come up in the future, then we’ll know who to target those treatments too.”

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.

Leave your comment

Please sign in to post a comment.
Retrieving conversation…
Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up