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  • Writer's pictureBig Rick Stuart

This Is How Many Steps a Day You Really Need to Extend Your Life. It's not 10,000

more at Men's Health

10,000 steps might not be the perfect number for everyone to maximize their lifespan according to research from UMass Amherst.

In an analysis of 15 different studies across four continents published in The Lancet this month, researchers found that adults younger than 60 can benefit from anywhere between 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day for improved longevity. Adults older than 60 saw longevity benefits stabilize around 6,000 to 8,000 steps a day.

Researchers found a 40-53% lower risk of early death in study participants who walked an average minimum of 5,800 steps a day compared to participants who averaged 3,500 steps.

Another interesting finding: walking speed didn't make much of a difference either, researchers note. As long as you're within the step range, your risk of premature death was decreased.

So where did the ever-popular 10,000-step goal originate? Previously reported by Men's Health, it all started with a Japanese pedometer sold in the 1960s called manpo-kei, meaning "10,000 steps meter.” While 10,000 steps a day can offer health benefits, it may be unrealistic for the average person.

“The major takeaway is there’s a lot of evidence suggesting that moving even a little more is beneficial, particularly for those who are doing very little activity,” lead researcher Amanda Paluch says in a press release issued by UMass Amherst. “More steps per day are better for your health. And the benefit in terms of mortality risk levels off around 6,000 to 8,000 for older adults and 8,000 to 10,000 for younger adults.”

In short, 10,000 steps isn't the bare minimum for improved longevity. Any extra movement helps.

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