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Higher Daily Step Count Linked with Lower All-Cause Mortality

Taking more steps per day is associated with lower risk of death.

In a new study, higher daily step counts were associated with lower mortality risk from all causes. The research team, which included investigators from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Institute on Aging, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also found that the number of steps a person takes each day, but not the intensity of stepping, had a strong association with mortality. The findings were published March 24, 2020, in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“While we knew physical activity is good for you, we didn’t know how many steps per day you need to take to lower your mortality risk or whether stepping at a higher intensity makes a difference,” said Pedro Saint-Maurice, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in the Metabolic Epidemiology Branch and first author of the study. “We wanted to investigate this question to provide new insights that could help people better understand the health implications of the step counts they get from fitness trackers and phone apps.”

Read the full NCI Press Release.


Saint-Maurice PF, Troiano RP, Bassett DR, et al. Association of Daily Step Count and Step Intensity with Mortality Among US Adults. JAMA. 2020.

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