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Plos-One study of 3000 people aged around 60 finds those who walked 10,000 steps a day nearly halved their risk of early death.

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The study, which was published in the journal PLOS ONE found:

  • A sedentary person who increased his or her steps from 1,000 to 10,000 per day had a 46% lower mortality risk
  • A sedentary person who increased his or her steps to 3,000 per day, five days a week had a 12% reduction in death

Professor Dwyer said the association between daily steps and mortality was largely independent of factors such as Body Mass Index (BMI) and smoking.

“Exercise should now be seen as a potential means of increasing longevity,” he said.

“We know through this research, that daily step count is inversely associated with all-cause mortality.

“People who increase their daily steps appear to have a substantial reduction in mortality risk.

“Pedometers and activity devices are growing in popularity so the ability to measure and realise the benefits of exercise are at everyone’s fingertips and we should all take advantage.”

The full paper can be found at

This might be a dumb question, but all these studies are about couch potatoes who suddenly became pretty active exercisers at age 60. That's cool but do these type of studies really kind of imply that you can get most of the longevity benefits of exercise by waiting until you're basically retirement age?

No, the benefits come whenever you give up being a couch potato. 

It's just that a lot of people wait till they're older to start. 

I guess if you just study couch potatoes, your conclusions mostly apply to them. So you have a 46% less risk of mortality in your 60's if you start walking 5 miles a day, but they don't really know what might have happened if you'd started earlier.

Likely if you started earlier you'd have even greater benefits. 

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