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Nov 22, 2012 by TAMMY McKENZIE
Strap on a Pedometer Ladies: It Only Takes 6000 Steps To Prevent Disease


Brazilian researchers say you only need 6,000 steps a day to beat the mid-life bulge and reduce your risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. The key is strapping on a pedometer to monitor your progress.


Researchers at Arizona State University have previously established baseline activity levels based on the number of steps taken each day. People who take fewer than 5,000 steps are considered to be sedentary or inactive. Those who take 5,000 to 7,499 steps daily have a low active lifestyle. Somewhat active people usually take 7,500 to 9,999 steps per day. People considered to be active take 10,000 or more steps per day. The surgeon general recommends aiming for 10,000 steps every day.

But now Brazilian researchers say it only take 6,000 steps to prevent disease. Researchers followed 292 women in Passo Fundo, Brazil, between 45 to 72 and recorded their daily steps.

They were given health checks such as cholesterol and blood sugar and their waist and hip measurement was taken, to measure abdominal obesity -- a risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Women who took 6,000 or more steps per day were considered active and those who took fewer inactive.

So what does it take to walk 6,000 steps? It depends on your stride length. First use the Female Stride Length Calculator or Male Stride Length Calculator to measure your stride. Then you'll know exactly how many steps it will take to walk 1 mile. From there you can easily calcuate how many miles it will take to walk 6,000 steps.

For example, for a 5'6" (or 1.67m) female, the stride length is about 0.7 meters and it takes about 2324 steps to walk 1 mile. That means
if you walk just over 2.5 miles per day, you're well on your way to preventing disease. That's under 300 steps per hour in a work day! Surely we can all do that and many of us do in the workplace alone.

The study, published in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society, found the active women were much less likely than the inactive ones to be obese.

It also found they were less likely to have metabolic syndrome or diabetes, whether or not they had gone through menopause- the time of life when these risks usually go up.

The report said: 'For midlife women, it looks like the journey to health begins with 6,000 steps.'

Pedometers count the number of steps you take, whether you are walking or running.

It clips to a waistband or belt.

Previous studies have found using a pedometer could halve people’s chances of developing diabetes during middle age.

Volunteers who used the step-counting machines to walk for just half an hour a day for a year radically reduced their risk of suffering the disease.

Previous research has shown walking to be an excellent barometer of health.

Middle-aged people who walk slowly and have a poor grip could be at greater risk of dementia or stroke in later life, researchers at
Boston Medical Centre found.

Those with a slower walking speed were found to be one and a half times more likely to develop dementia over the age of 65 compared with those who were more speedy.

Meanwhile, in 2008 researchers at Canterbury Christ Church University found that men with hypertension saw their blood pressure reduced for four hours after just a 30 minute walk.

Tammy McKenzie is a certified personal trainer and fitness specialist with a speciality in women's fitness.

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