06 March 2017

Effect of walking on days spent in hospital

A study recently published in the Medical Journal of Australia has shown that "more active people require less hospital care, and an achievable extra 4300 steps per day would result in an average of one less day in hospital for each 3 years of life".

The authors of the study, Daily step count and the need for hospital care in subsequent years in a community-based sample of older Australians, measured the step counts of over 3000 residents of Newcastle, who were over 55 years of age.  They wore pedometers for a week during 2005-2007 and their hospital data was analysed approximately eight years later. There was a statistically significant reduction in the number of hospital bed days associated with higher step counts.

Ben Ewald, one of the authors of the study from the University of Newcastle, summarised the results in The Conversation, New study shows more time walking means less time in hospital, and it was also reported by the ABC, Increasing daily step count reduces days in hospital, study shows 

Ben D Ewald, Christopher Oldmeadow and John R Attia. Med J Aust 2017; 206 (3): 126-130

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