Changes in one’s daily step count could have an effect on one’s BMI, according to researchers from the University of Jyväskylä, in a new study.

In the study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, researchers from the university’s Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences examined 4-year follow-up results from participants in the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study—which has been monitoring the health of more than 3,000 Finland residents from 1980 onward.

Step count data were gathered from a total of 1,033 participants, all of whom were 3 to 49 years of age. The recommended step count for adults is 10,000 steps.

During the follow-up period, approximately 25% of the participants increased, and approximately 19% decreased, their step counts.

The participants were grouped into increasers, decreasers and maintainers according to the total of their steps. The changes in the groups’ BMI were compared to the changes in their step count, and the comparison of the step counts was proportioned to the time the step counter had been kept on, per a media release from the University of Jyväskylä.

During the research period, there was growth in both the women’s and the men’s BMI. Almost half of the participants maintained the amount of their daily aerobic steps at the same level and approximately one-fourth increased their daily step count with over 1,000 steps during the research period.

The test participants whose total step count grew by more than 2,000 steps during the follow-up period maintained their BMI at the same level throughout the years. In contrast, BMI increased for those whose step count stayed at the same level or decreased, the release explains.

The researchers stress that people need not necessarily go for a walk to increase their daily step counts. Instead, they could pay attention to the choices they make in their everyday lives. For example, walk instead of drive, or take the stairs instead of the elevator.

[Source(s): University of Jyväskylä, Science Daily]