Walking 2,000 steps more each day can reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems by 8% for people with impaired glucose tolerance, according to a new study.
Walking has many proven health benefits already
The global study used data from nearly 9,500 adults from 40 different countries and was led by Dr Thomas Yates from the University of Leicester. The report was published in the journal The Lancet.
Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) is seen as a possible precursor to type 2 diabetes and affects more than 300 million people worldwide. This figure is expected to rise to 472 million by 2030.
The results suggested that an extra 2,000 steps, the equivalent of 20 minutes moderate exercise, reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke by 8%. Data was collected via the NAVIGATOR trial and focused on 9,306 adults who had IGT or at high risk from cardiovascular disease.
The researchers analysed the average number of steps each participant walked each day for a week at the start of the study and then again one year later.
Steps were recorded by a pedometer participants were encouraged to be more active and given information aimed at losing weight and cutting dietary fat intake.
Dr Yates said: “People with IGT have a greatly increased risk of cardiovascular disease. While several studies have suggested that physical activity is beneficially linked to health in those with IGT, this is the first study to specifically quantify the extent to which change in walking behaviour can modify the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular-related deaths."
Participants who increased their exercise by walking an additional 2,000 steps every day reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease by 10%.
Walking has long been encouraged as part of diabetes prevention programs and regular, moderate exercise has been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease.
Private health insurance premiums can be reduced and you can earn cashback by leading an active and healthy lifestyle.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013