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A Common Exercise Lowers Risk for Diabetes by 29 Percent

Posted: Saturday, July 07, 2012

Among people at high risk for diabetes who get very little exercise, those who manage to walk more throughout the day are less likely to actually develop the blood sugar disorder, according to a U.S. study.

Amanda Fretts, lead author of the study and a researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle, stated that, "Earlier studies have shown that walking more is tied to a lower risk of diabetes, but few studies have looked into precise measures of how many steps people take each day."

Fretts and her colleagues asked more than 1,800 people to wear a pedometer for a week to tally the number of steps they typically took each day. All of them came from Native American communities in Arizona, Oklahoma and North and South Dakota that are known to have low physical activity levels and high rates of diabetes.

About a quarter of the group were considered to have very low activity, taking fewer than 3,500 steps a day, while half took fewer than 7,800 steps a day. One mile is around 2,000 steps and daily walking recommendations typically point to a minimum of 10,000 steps a day.

At the beginning of the study, none of the participants had diabetes. But after five years of follow-up, 243 people had the condition. About 17 percent of the people in the lowest activity group developed diabetes, compared to 12 percent of the people who took more than 3,500 steps a day.

After taking into account people's age, whether they smoked and other diabetes risk factors, Fretts's team determined that people who walked the most were 29 percent less likely to develop diabetes than those who walked the least.

Frett's also mentioned that, "Increased physical activity may prevent weight gain and promote weight loss, a major determinant of diabetes risk." 

Source: http://www.diabetesincontrol.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=13030&catid=53&Itemid=8, Diabetes Care, June 2012

 
 
 
 
 
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