There are plenty of great reasons to add walking to your daily routine. Some of them are financial, while others have more to do with health. You can now add another one to the health category. According to new research, walking 6,000 steps a day can reduce the pain of knee arthritis, and increase the mobility of seniors. This is far less than the 10,000 steps wellness programs often set forth as a daily walking goal.
Researchers decided to comb through data when they realized taking 10,000 steps a day could be a daunting task for those who suffer from knee arthritis. They found a study where 2000 people in their 60s wore accelerometers (high tech pedometers) for a period of one week from 2009 to 2012, then again for another week two years later. The data from this study showed those who manage to walk on average 6,000 steps a day were less likely to have issues with climbing stairs, standing, or walking two years later. In addition, for every 1,000 steps more a person walked on average per day, they reduced their risk of mobility loss by another 16% to 18%. That means for those who want to walk 10,000 steps, the news is even better.
6,000 steps translates into approximately an hour of daily walking says Daniel White, the lead author of the study. While this may at first appear to be a lot of steps to take, it’s important to note that it includes every step a person takes during the day. That means it includes the steps taken around the house to do everyday normal activities such as walking to the bathroom or around the kitchen. For those who are fairly active around their house, they should be able to reach the 6,000 step goal with only a little bit of extra effort. While taking a daily walk around the block won’t hurt, it isn’t necessarily essential to reach the 6,000 step goal.
The study also brought good news for those who have been inactive. Even people who walked as little as 3,000 steps a day were able to improve their functionality and avoid limitations. This amount would apply to the 66% of knee arthritis sufferers who walk only 90 minutes a week. With this in mind, White said those with knee arthritis should begin by aiming to walk 3,000 steps a day, then increase to a goal of 6,000 or more steps a day.
What’s even better is increased walking can help with other health issues as well. If you know someone who suffers from knee arthritis or you do yourself, you might want to give them a gift of a pedometer so they can begin to track how many steps they’re taking each day. In fact, this can be a wonderful gift for anyone to help them better their health, and reduce long-term health costs.
(Photo courtesy of muffett68)