Is the 10,000 step a day regimen sufficient for weight control and cardiac health for seniors?
Older adults can strive for a similar step count to younger adults. However, a lower step count may still provide substantial benefits if this is not possible. A significant 2019 study involving older females discovered that participants who walked 4,400 steps per day had a descending mortality rate after 4.3 years than those who took 2,700 steps per day.
In this analysis, the more steps people took, the lower the mortality rate. Regardless, this trend levelled off at about 7,500 steps each day. This finding indicates that a goal of 7,000–8,000 steps may be acceptable for older adults to see considerable benefits from walking.
This analysis did not examine the other health benefits of walking, such as its effect on cardiovascular health. The authors also note that most participants were white, primarily more active, and of higher socioeconomic status than the general population. As a consequence, the results may not be widely applicable.
As far as I know, this whole 10,000 steps idea was launched by Fit Bit, which made the first “walk 10,000 steps a day” challenge for their users. Yet, it is not just a vague idea. There is a fundamental principle behind it. Fit Bit began operating at just about the time when research showed that even a slight increase in daily physical activity could significantly improve people’s health.
This indicated that, at least from a public health standpoint, it is better to encourage people to be a bit more active every day than to enable them to opt for something more significant but less frequent.
So yes, walking 10,000 steps a day might be valuable and better than nothing. However, neither it nor a much more intense activity will be able to compensate for a poor diet when it comes to weight loss.
Not everyone would walk 10,000 steps every day. It’s time-consuming and difficult. I guess I am more satisfied with what I do. That’s OK with me. Even though I have a problem with my weak heart muscles, I am doing my best to maintain optimal health. Hopefully, exercise and medicine can help improve the situation. I believe 10,000 steps are excessive; roughly 5 miles is a large dose for frail seniors.