April 18, 2020

AIM HIGH:

Harvard Researcher Out "10,000 Steps" Goal as a Farce (TANNER GARRITY, APRIL 18, 2020, Inside Hook)

The Spring 2020 issue of Popular Science includes a first-person account from I-Min Lee, an epidemiologist at the Harvard University School of Public Health who published a study last year challenging the oft-repeated 10,000-steps-a-day "rule."

As the story goes, Lee was part of a competition at Harvard a few years back in which various teams tried to accumulate as many steps as possible. Most participants were struggling to hit the 10,000-step benchmark, so, with years of exercise study under her belt, Lee decided to do a little digging. She looked into the etymology of the mandate first, and uncovered that a Japanese watch company called Yamasa Clock had originally disseminated the 10,000-step goal way  back in the late 1960s -- and with dubious reasoning. A section of the Japanese character sequence for "10,000" faintly resembles a guy out for a brisk stroll: δΈ‡.

Lee decided to bring some much-needed science to the debate, and commissioned a study assessing step volume and intensity with all-cause mortality in older woman. Her research, which can be accessed here, followed nearly 17,000 women with a mean age of 72, and deduced that women who averaged 4,400 steps a day had lower mortality rates than those who averaged 2,700 steps a day. The main takeaway? A blanket "10,000 steps or bust" approach is counterproductive; based on age, gender and lifestyle, a far smaller number can still have positive impacts on longevity.


Rates and Barrels read a hilarious email yesterday from some guys who did a Pedometer Challenge League: https://theathletic.com/podcast/15-rates-and-barrels/?episode=89

Posted by at April 18, 2020 8:24 AM

  

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