Healthy Japan 21 (second term) in Japan's health policy sets a target of 6,000 steps per day for women aged 65 years and older. In 2019, the average number of steps taken per day by Japanese women aged 65 years and older was 4,656. This study used the above average number of steps as the standard and examined the differences in physical and mental functioning between those who walked more than the standard and those who walked less. The hypothesis stated that the group with an average number of greater than 4,656 steps would lead a healthier life than the group with fewer steps. The participants were 52 physically independent older women living in a community. The participants' mean age was 70.94 ± 6.01 years. They were instructed to wear an accelerometer to measure their average number of steps and physical activity (PA) over a three-month period. The Lifecorder GS (SUZUKEN) was used as the accelerometer. Physical functions (grip strength; their ability to sit-up, bend forward, stand on one leg with their eyes open, stand on a chair for 30 seconds, complete a 10-meter obstacle walk, complete a 6-minute walk test; their toe flexor strength, and hip abductor strength) were also measured. Questionnaires were used to conduct (1) Activities of Daily Living (ADL) Assessment, (2) Quality of Life Assessment, (3) Psychological Assessment, and (4) Questions about Daily Life assessment. The participants were divided into two groups [high-step group (≥4,656 steps) and low-step group (<4,656 steps)] based on the number of steps they had completed daily. There was a significant difference (p<0.001) in the mean number of daily steps 9186.3 ± 2362.3 in the high-step group versus 4512.4 ± 634.4 in the low-step group. The PA of the high-step group was higher than that of the low-step group on all items. There was a significant difference between the two groups in ADL's total score. The difference in PA intensity between the two groups was significant, and there was a significant difference in View of Health Status. This suggested that the higher the PA, the higher the self-perceived health and physical fitness. The View of Health Status' results were consistent with the MOS Short-Form 36-Item Health Survey (SF36) General Health’s results. There was a difference in the physical and mental health status between those who walked an average number of steps (4,656 steps) and those who did not. This was especially true for physical function. Therefore, the study’s hypothesis was supported. The results regarding the high-step group and low-step group showed that the low-step group also reached 10 MET hours per week. When Plus Ten is considered, it is recommended that older women in Japan walk approximately 6,000 steps per day.
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