Whether it’s 10,15 or 20,000 steps a day doesn’t matter. It serves to combat sedentariness, but it doesn’t help us to maintain the line. To support it, a study by Brigham Young University
A BEAUTIFUL walk can be good for your mood and health, especially your heart. But to lose weight, or even just to stay in shape, you need much more. Proof of this is a study carried out by researchers at Brigham Young University, in the United States, according to which even if you exceed the famous 10 thousand steps per day recommended to stay healthy, you do not get particular benefits, at least if the purpose is to lose weight. The study has just been published in the Journal of Obesity.
The amount of steps per day
To find out if walking has any effect on body weight, the researchers involved 120 students who had just arrived at the university, who were asked to do 10,000, 12.5,000 or 15,000 steps a day for six days a week, for a total period of six months. All participants were also given a pedometer, an instrument that measures the steps taken through the movement of the hips, to wear 24 hours a day. In the meantime, the researchers monitored both the caloric intake and the body weight of the students, in order to be able to assess whether exceeding the threshold of 10 thousand steps per day (in increments of 25%) could prevent the weight gain of the participants.
It is not enough
At the end of the study, the researchers noted that, regardless of the amount of steps per day, the students reported an average weight gain of about one and a half kilos. This is normal, since on average American students gain a few pounds in their early years of university, which still shows the ineffectiveness of walking to keep weight under control. “Exercise is not always the most effective way to lose weight,” says study author Bruce Bailey, professor of motor science at Brigham Young University. “Walking may be beneficial for increasing the amount of physical activity, but our study showed that walking alone does not help maintain or prevent weight gain.
A weapon against sedentariness
Although body weight is not affected by the amount of steps taken per day, the researchers nevertheless observed a positive effect of walking. The study showed that the time when students were sedentary was drastically reduced in groups of 12 and 15 thousand steps per day. In the latter group, for example, the time decreased by 77 minutes per day. “The greatest advantage of recommending people to walk is to get them out of a sedentary lifestyle,” the author concludes. “And even if it doesn’t prevent weight gain on its own, walking is still good for your health”.