Posts tagged with "JAMA Network open"

How many steps a day should you take? Study finds 7,000 can go a long way

October 4, 2021

The fitness goal of 10,000 steps a day is widely promoted, but a new study suggests that logging even 7,000 daily steps may go a long way toward better health and fitness, NBC News reports.

Indeed, the researchers founds, middle-aged people who walked at least 7,000 steps a day on average are 50% to 70% less likely to die of any cause over the next decade, compared with those who took fewer steps.

Lower risk of premature death was observed for both women and men, Black and white, who took 7,000 steps or more, according to results published this month in JAMA Network Open.

“We saw that you can get a lot of benefit from 7,000 steps,” said study author Amanda Paluch, an assistant professor of Kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

The study involved 2,110 adults, ages 38 to 50, who in 2005 and 2006 wore a device called an accelerometer for about a week to track their steps. During the follow-up period, which averaged almost 11 years, 72 of the participants died, most commonly from cancer or heart disease. In analyzing the data, the researchers controlled for body mass index, smoking, and other factors that could have affected the findings.

Results showed that people appeared to gain more health benefits the more steps they took, with the greatest statistically significant reduction in mortality risk between 7,000 and 10,000 steps, Paluch said. After that, the benefits leveled off. There was no relationship between step intensity, or speed, and mortality.

“So really, what we’re seeing is there’s an incremental risk reduction in mortality up to a certain point,” Paluch told NBC News. “So for those who are getting, say, 4,000 steps, getting to 5,000 steps could have a benefit and then working your way up.”

Paluch said the new findings are in line with other research that suggests significant health benefits below the often-cited 10,000-step mark—which was never an evidence-based magical number but rather a marketing tool for a Japanese pedometer that came out in the 1960s.

Dr. William Kraus, a professor of Medicine at Duke University, was a member of the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee; which developed the current exercise guidelines for Americans, which are based on minutes of activity per week. He said he would like to see guidelines that include recommended daily steps.

“I’m all about steps, because it’s easy to measure, and people understand it,” he said.

When the 2018 guidelines were developed, the advisory committee didn’t have enough data to endorse an actual step-count range, Kraus said; but as more studies like the new one come out, they may allow public health officials to make specific recommendations.

For now, Kraus recommends that patients aim for 7,000 to 13,000 steps a day to get the full benefits that exercise can offer, including protecting against diseases like cancer and diabetes and helping with weight loss.

“I would like to emphasize that this is a range. It is not how little can I do,” he said. “People really should be striving for more rather than less.”

Research contact: @NBCNews

No bones about it: Age at puberty could affect skeletal strength

August 12, 2019

A study recently conducted at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom has linked the bone strength of teenagers and young adults to the age at which they reached puberty.

Published on August 9 in the open access medical journal,  JAMA Network Open, the research examined six repeated bone scans from 6,389 children who participated in Bristol’s Children of the 90s study between the ages of ten and 25 to assess if the timing of puberty had any influence on bone density throughout adolescence and into early adulthood.

They found that, although teens who had their pubertal growth spurt later than their peers did catch-up to some degree, they continued to have lower bone density than average for several years into adulthood.

Peak bone mass at the end of the teenage growth spurts is considered to be an indication of later risk of fracture and osteoporosis. Lead author and Senior Research Associate in Epidemiology Dr. Ahmed Elhakeem said, “Our research adds to the evidence that children who mature later may be at increased risk of fractures as they grow. They may also have increased risk of the fragile bone condition osteoporosis in later life.”

“Thanks to the ‘Children of the 90s study,’ we were able to look, for the first time, at children in great detail as they grow into young adults and observe their bone density. I’d like to see more advice available for people who reach puberty later on measures they can take to strengthen their bones.

He added, “The next steps should involve more detailed assessments of the long-term effects of puberty on growth and bone development.”

Alison Doyle, head of Operations and Clinical Practice at the Royal Osteoporosis Society, said, “This is important research that adds to a current gap in the evidence of understanding how bone density changes from puberty into early adulthood …. “The charity’s Osteoporosis and Bone Research Academy, which launched earlier this year, is working to build on these findings and create a future without osteoporosis.”

The study did not make conclusions on any influence of the final adult height on the findings. As the study participants are still only in their twenties, follow up with them as they age will be important to reach conclusions about fractures in later life.

Research contact: julia01.walton@bristol.ac.uk