Belgian researchers say they have found a benchmark for significant improvement in COPD patient pulmonary rehabilitation: another 600 to 1,100 steps a day.

Researchers say this number of increased steps showed patients’ breathing had improved enough so that they were less likely to be hospitalized later, according to Heleen Demeyer, PT, MSc, of the KU Leuven-University of Leuven, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences in Leuven, Belgium.

“Our data would support that interventions yielding an increase of 600-1100 steps yield clinically important benefits to patients with COPD,” according to the research, which was published in PLOSOne.