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Study: More steps a day lower the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure
It has long been known that regular exercise is good for your health. A new study has now shown that additional walking is associated with a significant reduction in the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure.
According to a report by the American Heart Association, middle-aged people who walked the most steps per day for an average of nine years were found to have a 43 percent lower risk of diabetes and a 31 percent lower risk of high blood pressure than those with, according to preliminary studies the fewest steps.
Lower risk of obesity
In addition, each 1,000-step interval in the study resulted in a 13 percent lower risk of obesity among women in the study.
And those with the highest number of steps were 61 percent less obese than women who walked the least.
In men, however, there was no association between a lower risk of obesity and the number of daily steps.
Counting steps can motivate movement
"Walking is a common form of physical activity," said study author Amanda E. Paluch of the University of Massachusetts.
She pointed out that thanks to portable technologies and smartphones, it is easy to measure the steps per day and can also motivate this measurement.
The study results were based on data from 1,923 participants in the national CARDIA study (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults), in which men and women wore a device for at least four hours for at least ten hours or more per day in 2005-2006, with which walking could be measured.
The average age of the participants was 45 years; 58 percent of the group were women. The average follow-up was nine years.
Regular physical activity for heart health
“The results of our study contribute to the growing knowledge of the importance of regular physical activity for improving heart health and show that preventive measures can still be effective in middle-aged adults,” said the researchers.
Based on current evidence, Paluch said that she and her team would like to expand their research and investigate how walking speed can affect heart health risks.
Diabetes and high blood pressure can be avoided
“Diabetes and high blood pressure are not inevitable. Healthy lifestyle changes such as achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, improving nutrition and increasing physical activity can help reduce the risk of diabetes, ”said former President of the American Heart Association, Robert H. Eckel.
"This study shows that walking is an effective therapy for risk reduction," said the professor of medicine from the University of Colorado.
"For people who find the idea of a longer daily training period and a physical activity program discouraging, shifting focus to collecting steps throughout the day can help to become more active," said Paluch. "The more steps, the better." (Ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- American Heart Association: More steps-per-day linked to significant reductions in diabetes and high blood pressure, (accessed: March 9, 2020), American Heart Association