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“Are ‘Magic Health Numbers’ Accurate ?”

Many authors quote “magic health numbers” as being highly recommended and your goal for good overall health. Numbers like “10,000 steps per day,” “eight glasses of water a day,” and “three cups of coffee a day,” are examples we hear all the time. But, are they really accurate or meaningful numbers? Let’s start with “10,000 steps per day,” which is almost five miles. For many years, walking 10,000 steps per day has been considered the “magic” number for optimal health. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine recently published results from an observational Women’s Health Study focused on whether increased steps per day are associated with lower mortality rates among older women. The study found that participants who walked as few as 4,400 steps per day experienced lower mortality rates when compared to participants who walked 2,700 steps per day. And, the more steps participants took per day, the more their mortality rates dropped. However, the study showed that mortality rates leveled off at 7,500 steps, meaning that study participants who walked more did not have significantly lower mortality rates.

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