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Walking 3,600 steps daily reduces risk of heart failure: Study

A new study shows that walking 3,600 steps daily is linked to a 26% lower risk of developing heart failure

This study is unique as it looked at two subtypes of heart failure, the most common of which is heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, often abbreviated as HFpEF.(Pexels)

By Team Lounge

LAST PUBLISHED 27.02.2024  |  04:36 PM IST

Often, people over 60 years lack clarity about how much physical activity is beneficial for them. In an attempt to provide the answer, a new study shows that reaching the target of 3,600 steps daily, at a normal pace, is linked to a 26% lower risk of developing heart failure.

The study, led by researchers from the University of Buffalo, found that the risk of developing heart failure was, on average, 12% and 16% lower for every 70 minutes spent in light-intensity activities every day and every 30 minutes spent in moderate-to-vigorous intensity daily, respectively.

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Notably, the study also showed that every 90 minutes of sedentary time was associated, on average, with a 17% higher risk of experiencing heart failure, the university’s statement elaborated.

For the study, the researchers analysed data from around 6,000 women from the United States aged between 63 and 99 years. An accelerometer was used to measure their physical activity to better understand its association with sedentary time and heart failure risk. The findings were published in the journal JAMA Cardiology.

“In ambulatory older women, higher amounts of usual daily light and moderate intensity activities were associated with lower risk of developing heart failure with preserved ejection fraction independent of demographic and clinical factors associated with heart failure risk," the study’s lead author Michael J. LaMonte said in the statement.

This study is unique as it looked at two subtypes of heart failure, the most common of which is heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, often abbreviated as HFpEF, the researchers said in the statement. The findings showed that there was a lower risk of HFpEF with more light and moderate intensity daily activity.

“The potential for light intensity activities of daily life to contribute to the prevention of HFpEF in older women is an exciting and promising result for future studies to evaluate in other groups, including older men," LaMonte added in the statement.

Previous studies have also explored how light and moderate activity is linked to health. For instance, a new study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology in August 2023 found that walking 3,967 steps every day can reduce the risk of dying from any cause.

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