More walking may bring long-term cardiovascular benefits to older adults

June 25 (UPI) — Evidence continues to mount showing the long-term health benefits of walking for older adults, a new study says.

People between ages 45 and 75 who measured how much they walk with a pedometer increased their physical activity over time and decreased their risk of heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular events, according to research published Tuesday in PLOS Medicine.

The researchers say they conducted the research because they knew, “Evidence of long-term objective increases in physical activity and effects on health outcomes is lacking.”

To fill the void on the subject, the U.K. researchers looked at data from nearly 1,300 people who took part in two randomized control trials of walking interventions. The goal was to increase the number of steps and overall physical activity of the participants.

Each trial lasted 12 weeks, and the walking was measured using a pedometer. During the follow-up, the researchers observed increased physical activity in the participants in the three to four years that followed.

The findings showed it would take roughly 61 people to take part in the walking intervention to prevent one cardiovascular episode and 28 to stop one fracture. Although, walking didn’t seem to change the incidences of diabetes and depression in the participants.

This isn’t the only research to point out the benefits of walking for older adults. One study said walking is linked to lower heart failure in older women, while another reported walking helps to curb falling in older adults.

“Short-term walking interventions can produce long-term health benefits and should be more widely used to help address the public health inactivity challenge,” the authors wrote.

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