WALKING just 4,000 steps a day is enough to slash your risk of an early death, a study found.
It means people who fall short of the popular 10,000-per-day target still get a health boost.
Scientists at the Medical University of Lodz in Poland analysed data from nearly 227,000 people.
They found that the more you walk, the bigger the benefits – with no clear upper limit.
Risks of heart disease began to fall after only 2,337 steps per day, which could take just 25 minutes.
A “significant” reduction in the danger of dying young began after 3,967 daily steps – about 40 minutes’ worth – the researchers said.
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It dropped by an extra 15 per cent for every 1,000 more steps.
Over-60s’ risk was 42 per cent lower if they walked between 6,000 and 10,000 steps per day, compared to none.
Professor Maciej Banach said: “Our study confirms that the more you walk, the better.
“We found that this applied to both men and women, irrespective of age.
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“As little as 4,000 steps a day are needed to significantly reduce deaths from any cause, and even fewer to reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease.”
Lazy lifestyles are a top killer, according to the World Health Organization.
Not exercising enough has been linked to higher rates of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and dementia.
The research, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, analysed 17 previous studies.
People involved walked up to 20,000 steps a day and their death risk was still declining.
Dr Banach added: “The analysis also revealed that we do not need so many steps to have health benefits, which undermines the definition of a sedentary life.”
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