Maintaining a healthy lifestyle should always be a top priority, but sometimes it’s easy for us to forget that the habits we presently have can determine just how long we’ll live. A recent study found that something as simple as daily walking can be associated with a lower mortality from all causes. You read that correctly, increasing your daily steps can increase your chances of living a longer life.

The study was conducted by a team of researchers from the National Institute on Aging, National Cancer Institute, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The team wanted to investigate how many steps per day a person needed to take to lower their mortality risk and whether or not stepping at a higher intensity made a difference.

“We wanted to investigate this question to provide new insights that could help people better understand the health implications of the step counts they get from fitness trackers and phone apps,” the first author of the study, Pedro Saint- Maurice, Ph.D said in a release.

This particular study differed from past studies on walking and lifespan because it didn’t focus so much on elderly adults and people with chronic medical conditions. The study instead examined roughly 4,800 U.S. adults aged 40 and over who wore tracking devices for up to seven days between 2003 and 2006. Each person’s lifespan was then tracked up until 2015 using the National Death Index. What researchers discovered was a significant connection between daily walking and the risk of mortality.

Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, improved management of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes are some of the benefits daily walking can have on potentially life-threatening health issues.

The research team concluded that any physical movement is better than none, especially for older adults. Everyone should strive to achieve around 150 minutes of moderate-to-intense exercise per week, but their main point was to keep moving for better overall health as we age.

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