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How many steps to take for good health?

A new study suggests that older women who walk a little over three kilometers each day live longer than women of the same age who are less active.

Many Americans in the hope of staying healthy are setting a daily target of 10,000 steps, or about eight kilometers. They often have this goal because they carry electronic devices that set that goal, say the US researchers. Their findings appeared recently in the publication JAMA Internal Medicine.

But we do not know how much intensity or speed material counting health advantages researchers write each step. They add that 10,000 steps a day may not be the right goal for everyone.

For the study, the researchers observed 17,000 women, all at least 70 years old. They asked women to wear accelerometers for at least four days. Accelerometers are small devices that measure the number of steps and the intensity of movement.

Researchers followed women much later, on average, about 4.3 years later. Since the beginning of the study, 504 women have died. Compared to women who did no more than 2,718 steps per day, women who walked at least 4,363 steps a day were 41% less likely to die.

"Even a modest amount of steps is associated with weaker mortality, "Said I-Min Lee, senior editor of a report on the study. She is a physician at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

Women who did more steps had "lower mortality rates up to about 7,500 steps a day, beyond which no further decline was observed," Lee said at the # 39 Reuters news agency. "The rate of progression did not matter for these older women; it was the number of steps that mattered. "

This suggests that the number of steps, rather than the intensity, may be more important for a long life in older women.

The study had some limitations. For example, researchers measured women's movements only once, at the beginning of the study period. It is possible that women's behaviors have changed over time.

Nevertheless, the results are "good news for seniors who may be struggling to walk at a higher speed," said Keith Diaz, a researcher at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. He was not involved in the study.

"Anything is better than nothing," Diaz said by e-mail. "Even with small amounts of walking, your risk of death will be greatly reduced."

"For those who have difficulty walking, other research shows that any form of aerobic activity provides health benefits," he added.

¬ęSwimming, bike, arms launch or any form of activity of a continuing nature will bring health benefits. "

I am John Russell.

Lisa Rapaport told this story for Reuters. John Russell adapted his story for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the publisher.

Quiz – How many steps to follow for good health?

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Words in this story

material – v. to be of importance

advantage – not. welfare; Satisfaction; profit from something

modest – adj. not very big in size or amount

mortality – not. the death of a person or an animal

launch – not. the act of turning or folding something

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