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The Simple Habit That Could Help You Live Longer, According To Science

The bottom line: It's time to get moving.

Everyone knows it's a good idea to step up the stairs rather than take the elevator, but a new study says you might also want to ditch the car keys and put on your walking shoes. New research from Oxford University says you could live a longer life simply by adding more steps to your day. 

The study, published in PLOS ONE, followed over 2,500 Australians with an average age of around 59, for over a decade. The participants were given a pedometer to track their daily steps, with researchers collecting the data.

Over time, they observed a linear relationship between high daily steps and low mortality risk. Sedentary individuals were able to cut their mortality risk by 12 percent simply by going from 1,000 steps a day to 3,000 steps per day, at least five times per week. If they upped that to 10,000 steps a day, they could slash their risk by as much as 46 percent. 

'This shows more clearly than before that the total amount of activity also affects life expectancy," Oxford University researcher Terry Dwyer said in a statement. "These results are more robust and give us greater confidence that we can prevent death from major diseases by being more active."

Numerous studies have similarly shown that exercise offers more benefits than just helping to maintain your weight. One study from earlier this year found that just light exercise can add three to seven years to your life. Another study found jogging two-and-a-half hours per week could add over five years to your life. 

The bottom line: It's time to get moving.

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