New VUMC Study: Counting Steps Can Improve Your Health

Looking to improve your health? Start stepping—and measure those steps on a FitBit, Apple Watch or other type of wearable activity tracker. Research from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, reported in the journal Nature Medicine, indicates that 8,200 steps per day (about four miles) can decrease the risk of several common, chronic diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, obesity and sleep apnea.

Taking in a certain number of daily steps was even found to protect against acid reflex and depression. The data suggests that overweight individuals can reduce their risk of becoming obese by 64% if they increase their daily steps from 6,000 to 11,000. 

The study analyzed an average of four years of activity and health data from more than 6,000 participants who wore Fitbit activity trackers at least 10 hours a day, and who provided access to their electronic health record. The wearable devices encourage movement and exercise by allowing the user to track progress toward their personal health goals.

Read the full article to learn more about the study's findings.