Take This Many Daily Steps for a Healthier Heart

By , SparkPeople Blogger
For anyone looking to lower their risk of diabetes and heart disease, an increase in physical activity is a common prescription from doctors.  But often the advice ends there and patients are left asking themselves, "How much additional exercise do I need?" and, "What kinds of activity should I be doing?" 

A recent study shows that even moderate increases in physical activity can have a big impact on your risk for certain diseases.

The study, published in the journal Lancet, found that for people with signs of pre-diabetes, adding an additional 2,000 steps to their day decreased their risk of heart-related events (like a heart attack or stroke) by 8%.  Even better, you don't have to spend hours each day in the gym to get this benefit.  A moderate, 20-minute walk can give you the additional steps needed to improve your health.

"Even before the study began, for every 2,000 steps a day one participant tended to walk on average compared to another, he enjoyed a 10% lower rate of heart problems by the end of the year. During the study year, there was an additional 8% lower risk of heart disease for every 2,000 steps walked a day."

What does this mean for you? 
Find ways to add additional activity to your day, and use a device like the Spark Activity Tracker to measure it.  The Spark Activity Tracker is easy to use and fully integrates with your SparkPeople tools and program.  Just clip it on and it records your activity throughout the day, and then automatically syncs with your computer.  You can easily change your daily step goal so you can push yourself to get those extra 2,000 steps. The Spark makes it easier to make the right choices and motivates you to be more active every day. Get your Spark today to start tracking your extra steps!
Even if you don't have time for an extra 20-minute walk, think about small changes you can make to your daily routine.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park your car further from the store and take short exercise breaks during the workday: It can all add up!  You'll add 2,000 steps to your day before you know it, and you'll be on your way to better heart-health!

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MARGE116 5/13/2021
Thanks! Report
LRCOTE 10/19/2020
They ran out of SparkTrackers. Figures... Report
CHERRIET 10/19/2020
Does your posting this article on our Start page today (10/19/2020) mean that you'll again be supporting/linking my SpAT?
If not, why is this article being promoted? Report
Thank you. Report
TERMITEMOM 10/6/2020
I am now aiming for 5,000 steps a day. After a bilateral knee replacement I am very stiff and I tire easily. Report
KATHYJO56 9/21/2020
I really like this article Report
CECELW 9/8/2020
Just about every day, I walk over 10,000 steps Report
LUVNMEA4MEA 8/17/2020
Thanks. Report
CECTARR 8/17/2020
Thanks Report
NEPTUNE1939 8/17/2020
ty Report
MARTHA324 8/17/2020
Interesting. In 2012 after losing some weight I bought a pedometer and started to walk using in 10 -15 minute segments. In Feb after losing 50 lbs and regularly getting at least 10,000 steps I had a heart attack. Dr said the walking and weight loss probably helped it to not be a "bad" one. Report
Great article. Report
Thanks Report
LIS193 8/17/2020
Thanks Report
KITTYHAWK1949 8/17/2020
thanks Report
KEITATP 8/17/2020
Thanks for shaing Report
LOSER05 7/29/2020
Thanks Report
JAMER123 7/19/2020
Article good but the Spark Tracker isn't in existence any longer. Needs to be removed and references to other trackers supported with SP added. Report
Great article! Report
Great information Report
Since the Spark Activity Tracker is no longer available, I think this article should be retired! Report
Great advice. Report
It's great advice to increase daily steps. Report
Thank you Report
thanks Report
Fantastic article!!! Report
This article doesn't actually say how many steps per day would be best. Needs to be more detailed. Give a range for different ages etc.
I use a Pedometer app on my phone. On a work day (in deli on feet 5 hrs) I get 5,000 - 6,000 steps. If I also do 3 mile run/walk it hits 10,000 or more! I don't know how others get up to 30,000 steps ! Report
Thank you for this great info! Report
It's encouraging that a mere 2000 steps a day can make a difference! Report
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
When I started walking wearing a tracker, it was difficult to earn 2,000 steps a day. Yesterday, I earned the highest number I've ever done in one day--a bit over 30,000. Wowzer! If I didn't wear a tracker, I would have never believed I walked that many steps in one day. Report
I never wanted a computer. We bought our three kids-all sons, and I was too busy with sewing and cooking and walking and camping.
I still use two fingers to type and I walk almost daily. I have three SPAT's on my desk and they were my JOY ! So many of us older folks love Spark but it is so complicated not being young to be taught about computers and every time Spark changes for it has nothing to better than complications. I love Spark but it gets frustrated. Pat in Maine Report
Interesting article. Report
Thank you for the information! Report
Wish the Spark Activity tracker were still available. Report
I bought that spark people tracker. A useless thing. Report
The date on the blog is 2014. Report
I think that a watch would do better than that expensive thing. Report
I had a SP walk tracker. It didn't last a month. I hated that thing from the beginning. Fitbit is the way to go Report
Time to retire this article and write a new one. SPAT is long gone (but NOT forgotten.) I now use a Fitbit Zip and I don't think it's as accurate as SPAT was but I have adjusted my calculations so at least I have an idea where I am! Report
I will rue the day my "spat" no longer functions. The syncing function is its best feature. I'm curious as to what replaces it, exactly. If it is a branded device, please describe. Report
I think this one misses the mark just a bit. While the title says its an article about how to get more steps in, its really a promotion for a product that is no longer offered. Maybe time for this article to be removed from your database. Report
I understand the value of re-cycling articles that have logical diet and fitness advice but someone should review the article to see if anything has changed. This article is really pushing the Spark Activity Tracker that doesn't exist anymore. Pedometers can be very motivating. I love my fitbit! Report
This is such sloppy use of statistics! 8% of WHAT? If, say, the initial risk of heart disease or diabetes was 20%, does an 8% reduction in risk mean the overall risk is lowered to 12%? (20 minus 8 equals 12) Not likely. It usually means 8% of the original risk. So 8% of the initial 20%. Which totals 1.6. So the initial 20% risk gets reduced by 1.6, so now you have an 18.4% risk of heart disease or diabetes. Doesn't sound nearly as impressive. Not to say we shouldn't try to get more exercise, and counting steps works for some, but stop fudging the math! Report
I've broken my daily 10,000 into hourly increments (7 am to 8 pm). If I check my FitBit and see I'm short on that hour's steps, I'll take a stroll around the office. If I REALLY need more steps, I'll head to the stairwell and take the stairs down to the 1st floor. Someday I'll be fit enough to go up the stairs as well! Report
Have been using FitBit tracker and almost without fail hit 10,000 steps a day. Am a mechanic always on the move. Report
THis idea of 10,000 steps a day is a real puzzler. I work in a warehouse, on my feet all day, up and down aisles, running, walking etc. Once a year the company participates in a charity event where all employees wear pedometers. The aim is for all employees to get 10K steps a day and win the competition. Working 8 hours a day, or more, in almost constant movement, most of us can barely get 8K. So unless, you're walking all day long, how does one REALLY reach 10K steps? Report
I have had my Spark Activity Tracker (SPAT) since late September. I love it! I had so many failed Pedometers I thought for $59.99 give it a shot! It pushes me to get my 10,000 steps a day. I want to get my "glow" on! I also bought my sister Thoms1 a SPAT for her birthday. . She said it was the best present she ever got. Report