A new study conducted by experts from George Institute for Global Health in Australia revealed that increasing one's daily steps from 1000 to 10,000 a day reduces risks for premature death by 46 percent.

The study also found that increasing daily steps to 3000 steps a day will reduce risks for early death by 12 percent.

Researchers wanted to find any connection between exercise and lower mortality rates in groups of people who appeared healthy through the use of pedometers. The group's findings were published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Professor Terry Dwyer from the institute said that inactivity contributes to the rise of conditions like obesity which costs the government billions of dollars annually.

Dwyer explained that previous studies only measured exercise through questionnaires and self-reports, and that their institute's findings are more robust, giving them confidence that death from major diseases can be prevented.

"This study should greatly encourage individuals to ensure they do regular exercise and prompt governments to create more opportunities for physical activity in communities," said Dwyer.

In collaboration with the Menzies Research Institute in Tasmania, researchers monitored 3,000 individuals in a span of 15 years. Each respondent was given pedometers. Researchers collected data at the start of the study and then again after five years.

Kerry Doyle, Chief Executive of The Heart Foundation, said that the findings proved that even moderate exercise could greatly influence a person's health.

"It seems a walk a day can keep the doctor away," she said.

Doyle said it is well-known how good exercise is for an individual, especially for the heart. She added that exercising regularly can help the body in several ways and that one need not have to work out in a gym.

However, a different study conducted in the United Kingdom warned that some measuring devices were not efficient and accurate.

Professor Gregory Welk from Iowa State University and his colleagues tested some of the most popular models as several individuals took part in 13 different physical activities such as running and playing basketball.

The group found that one of the brands that tracked activity, sleep, heart and stress rate which cost about $199 had an error rating of 23.5 percent.

"These companies just produce a nice-looking device with a fancy display and people buy it," said Welk.

Welk also added that fitness devices such as pedometers could not guarantee results in reaching goals, but it could be a nudge toward the right steps.

Photo : Mika Stetsovski | Flickr

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