Walk To Pr4event Diabetes, Study Reports

Walking more lowers your risk of diabetes. 

This comes from a just released study by Australian rearchers who studied nearly 600 middle-aged adults.  The adults participated in a study to map diabetes levels across Australia between 2000 and 2005. 

Diabetes is a major health condition increasingly affecting aging adults according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI).  “Diabetes is one of the conditions that can cause many to need long-term care,” states Jesse Slome, AALTCI executive director.  “It is also one of the conditions that can make it harder to get this insurance coverage.” 

Participants underwent a health examination at the start of the study and provided details about their eating and lifestyle habits.  The volunteers were also given a pedometer and instructed how to use it. 

Follow-up with the participants five years later showed that a higher daily step count was associated with a lower body-mass index (BMI), lower waist-to-hip ratio and better insulin sensitivity, even after adjusting for factors such as diet, smoking and alcohol intake. 

They calculated that a sedentary person who changed his or her behavior and started walking 10,000 steps every day would achieve a threefold improvement in insulin sensitivity, compared with a similar person who walked 3,000 steps a day, five days a week. 

The 10,000 steps per day is a popular guideline, but a more recent recommendation is 3,000 steps per day, five days a week. 

The findings confirm an independent beneficial role of higher daily step count on body-mass index, waist-to-hip ratio and insulin sensitivity, provide further support to promote higher physical activity levels among middle-aged adults.  The study appears in the online edition of the British Medical Journal.

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