This study aimed to examine the relationship between pedometer-assessed daily step count and all-cause mortality in a sample of elderly Japanese people.
Participants included 419 (228 males and 191 females) physically independent, community-dwelling 71-year-old Japanese people. The number of steps per day was measured by a waist-mounted pedometer for seven consecutive days at baseline. Participants were divided into quartiles based on their average number of steps/day (first quartile, < 4503 steps/day; second quartile, 4503–6110 steps/day; third quartile, 6111–7971 steps/day; fourth quartile, > 7972 steps/day) and were followed up over a mean period of 9.8 years (1999–2010) for mortality.
Seventy-six participants (18.1%) died during the follow-up period. The hazard ratios (adjusted for sex, body mass index, cigarette smoking, alcohol intake, and medication use) for mortality across the quartiles of daily step count (lowest to highest) were 1.00 (reference), 0.81 (95%CI, 0.43–1.54), 1.26 (95%CI, 0.70–2.26), and 0.46 (95%CI, 0.22–0.96) (P for trend = 0.149). Participants in the highest quartile had a significantly lower risk of death compared with participants in the lowest quartile.
This study suggested that a high daily step count is associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality in physically independent Japanese elderly people.