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4,400 steps a day is enough to see health, fitness benefits study says

There’s something about the idea of taking 10,000 steps a day that seems so overwhelming.

It’s such a big, round number.

But it turns out that it’s just an arbitrary number.

A new study by JAMA Internal Medicine tracked the steps of nearly 17,000 older women over four years.

It found that those who walked a minimum of 4,400 steps a day, a lot less than originally thought, had a 41% lower mortality rate than those who only walked 2,700 steps.

The more steps over 4,400, the better. Until they got to 7,500 steps where the benefits plateaued.

The study also said the origin of the 10,000 steps per day goal is unclear, but may derive from a Japanese pedometer called Manpo-kei, which translates to “10,000 steps meter.”

So if you’ve been put off by the idea of hitting 10,000 steps, take heart. Walking 4,400 steps in comparison is a cinch.

Walking at a moderate pace is about 100 steps a minute, so that’s less than an hour to hit your target.