2000 Steps a Day May Keep the Doctor Away

By Amy Orciari Herman
Walking 2000 steps a day — about 20 minutes of moderate-intensity walking — can lower the odds of cardiovascular events among high-risk adults, according to an analysis from the NAVIGATOR trial published in the Lancet.

Researchers studied some 9300 adults aged 50 and older with existing cardiovascular disease or impaired glucose tolerance and at least one additional cardiovascular risk factor. Ambulatory activity was measured with a pedometer for 7 days at baseline and 1 year.

During roughly 6 years' follow-up, 531 cardiovascular events occurred. Each 2000-step/day increment in ambulatory activity at baseline was associated with a roughly 10% lower risk for cardiovascular events. Similarly, each 2000-step increase in activity from baseline to 1 year was associated with an 8% lower risk, while each 2000-step decrease conferred an 8% higher risk.

Commentators say the trial "adds compelling and reassuring evidence for the benefits of physical activity on cardiovascular health."

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