-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The more you walk, the
lower your risk of diabetes, say Australian researchers.
The scientists tracked 592 middle-aged adults who participated
in a study to map diabetes levels across Australia between 2000 and
2005. Participants underwent a health examination at the start of
the study and provided details about their eating and lifestyle
The volunteers were also given a pedometer and instructed how to
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
These associations were independent of calorie intake and
appeared to be largely due to a change in weight, said the
researchers at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in
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.
"These findings, confirming 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 researchers concluded in a news release.
The study appears in the online edition of the
British Medical Journal.
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