1. In this large, prospective cohort study limited to women, increasing daily step count was linked with decreased mortality.
2. The above effect plateaued at 7500 steps daily.
Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)
Study Rundown: Mobile devices have made step counting easier, and popular media has widely publicized the purported virtues of ‘10,000 steps per day’. This number does not have a clear correlate in the existing literature as a goal for improved health or mortality. In this large, prospective cohort study of older women (mean age 72) in the United States, higher step counts per day was linked with lower rates of mortality with a plateau effect at 7500 steps per day. Step speed and intensity did not have independent associations with mortality.
The large sample size, pedometer usage, and robust adjustment for confounders are all strengths of this study. The limited diversity (sample mostly consisting of elderly Caucasian females of above average health) limits generalizability.
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