Despite numerous claims that walking 10,000 steps per day, or the equivalent of five miles, is the standard for an active lifestyle, researchers at the University of Warwick have discovered that might not be enough.
A study of healthy, non-smoking Glasgow postal workers examined the link between cardiovascular risk, obesity and the number of steps taken each day.
Postal employees, including 55 office workers and 56 walking/delivery workers, wore fitness monitors for seven days. Researchers also gathered extensive data including age, cholesterol levels, sleep patterns, family history of coronary heart disease (CHD), shift worked, job type and socioeconomic status.
The results showed that walking/delivery workers who averaged 15,000 steps per day, or about seven miles, and spent more than seven hours active showed no increase in obesity or cardiovascular issues. Workers who showed a greater level of activity also were in the normal ranges for BMI and waist circumference.
“Compared with those without the metabolic syndrome, participants with the metabolic syndrome were significantly less active-fewer steps, shorter stepping duration and longer time sitting,” the study results read.
The study is available in the March issue of International Journal of Obesity.