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The step counter on your smartphone could improve your chances of avoiding dementia, according to a large-scale study recently published in JAMA Neurology.
Participants in the study wore bracelets that counted their steps and compared results of increasing dementia.
The key finding? Walking 9,800 steps a day reduces your risk of cognitive impairment by as much as half. Steps with a higher intensity, like going uphill, can reduce it even more. Even if you only add 3,800 steps to your day, you improve your chances of avoiding dementia by 25%.
Using step counting as the measure is a good choice. It’s easy to track and the general public is familiar with it and it is popular. And walking is easy for most people to do. Getting outside has plenty of mental health benefits as well, even if it is only around the neighborhood.
Researchers in Australia and Denmark monitored the step counts of 78,000 adults, between 40 and 79 years old. After a seven year period they found a lower risk of cognitive impairment for those who hit the step goals.
It’s an easy “step” in maintaining your cognitive health!