BENTON, Ark.- In a world of wearable devices to track your every step, 10,000 can sound like the magic number.
“You cannot compare apples to apples on what kind of exercise somebody can do,” says Bariatric Coordinator Judi Garrett.
However, a new study found in older women that striding towards the 10,000 step mark may not be needed.
Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital tracked 18,000 women. They say up to 7,500 steps per day meant a lower risk of death, anything after that didn’t make a difference.
“We have never advocated ‘Do 10,000 steps,” Garrett says. “We do advocate use your Fitbit, use your alarm.”
Doctors at Saline Memorial say it really depends on the person and their health goals.
It’s important to note the study also found that taking as few as 2,700 steps a day was associated with a higher risk of death.
Sherri Thomas, a bariatric patient, has been taking her weight loss journey in strides.
At first, she was at a steady pace, but has increased her steps every week.
“I know that in the past, I would walk every week and it was strenuous on my joints, and I would have injuries,” Thomas recalls.
Since her weight loss journey started a year ago, Thomas has lost nearly 90 pounds.
She’s working toward the 7,500 number, and credits her fitness tracker for being a good reminder to get moving.
“We strive to walk at least 30 minutes a day, at least three to four times a week,” says Thomas.
Saline Memorial’s doctor, Ahmad Yousaf, says he’s more concerned about the type of activity you do rather than the number of steps you get in.
“That’s not nearly as meaningful, steps-wise, as getting on the treadmill walking for half an hour, getting outside on the sidewalk with a plan to get my heart rate up and to get me breathing hard and sweat a little, that’s where the value comes for me,” Yousaf explains.
Step by step, Saline Memorial doctors will look further into the study and research.
They’re encouraging people to stay mobile and incorporate a regular workout routine.