A new study suggests that even a small amount of walking every day can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association released the study Thursday.
It said walking an extra two and a half meters or 500 steps per day reduced the risk of heart disease by 14 percent in people aged 70 and over.
These results were obtained by examining the health data of 452 elderly people. Study participants were fitted with an accelerometer to measure how many steps they walked each day.
University of Alabama Department of Pathology assistant professor. Erin Dooley said previous studies focused on middle-aged people walking 1,000 steps a day, which is not possible for older adults.
The average age of the participants in the new study was 78 years and they walked an average of 3,500 a day. The results showed that those who walked about 4,500 steps had a 77 percent lower risk of heart disease than those who walked less than 2,000 steps per day.
After a little more than three and a half years of the study, about 12 percent of people who walked less than 2,000 steps a day had developed a heart attack, but among those who walked about 4,500 steps a day, the rate was 3.5 percent.
Dr. “We are not underestimating the need for more manual labor,” Dooley said in a news release. However, even a small increase in daily walking plays an important role in reducing the risk of heart disease. If you are over 70, try to start walking 500 steps daily.