Walking less than 5,000 steps a day can still benefit your health, latest evidence suggests.

Prior research has said that people should aim for 10,000 steps to see health benefits, however new findings show that this is not necessarily the case.

Global data has found that 4,000 steps a day puts you at lower risk of early mortality. In addition, it has revealed that more than 2,300 steps is good for the blood vessels and heart.

However, for every extra 1,000 steps after 4,000, to 20,000 your risk of early mortality is reduced by 15%.

Individuals under the age of 60 experienced the biggest benefits, the research has demonstrated.

Lead author Prof Maciej Banach said: “I believe we should always emphasise that lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, which was a main hero of our analysis, might be at least as, or even more, effective in reducing cardiovascular risk and prolonging lives.”

According to World Health Organization data, insufficient physical activity is responsible for 3.2 million deaths each year – the fourth most frequent cause worldwide.

Personal trainer Honey Fine said: “It can slow your metabolism and affect muscle growth and strength, which can cause aches and pains.

“Sitting down for too long can also cause all sorts of back problems, we find this a lot with people with office jobs, that their backs are constantly put in a stressed compressed position which causes a lot more problems later on in life.”

She added: “Tasks like standing, carrying shopping, washing the floors, hoovering, pacing whilst talking on the phone – it’s all the little things that make us more active that help us to burn calories more efficiently.

“Walking can lower your blood pressure, strengthen your muscles to protect your bones, it can increase energy levels as well as giving you endorphins and it can help you maintain a healthy weight alongside healthy eating.”

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