Activity as simple as taking a walk daily can significantly lower the risk of diabetes in those with a high risk, a new US study has found.
According to an article in the Huffington Post, researchers found that even minimal daily exercise had some influence on lowering a person's diabetes risk.
Hailinh from the University of Washington and the University of Pittsburgh, researchers reviewed 1826 Native American people with an average body mass index (BMI) of 32 – which is considered obese – and had them wear pedometers for a week.
Findings showed that 50 percent of participants walked less than 7800 steps daily and 25 percent took less 3500 steps. There are about 2000 steps in one mile (1.6 kilometres).
Those who walked the most had a 29 percent lower risk of being diagnosed with diabetes.
Those who walked 7800 steps or more had a 29 percent lower risk of being diagnosed with diabetes while those who walked between 5400 and 7799 steps per day each day had a 26 percent lower risk.
The benefits of physical activity even showed up in those participants who walked only 3500 steps - they had a 12 percent lower risk of developing diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association suggests walking five miles or 10 000 steps a day (about eight kilometers) to stay healthy and reduce health risks. Starting with as little as 10 minutes of walking per day and gradually increasing the time and distance is the best way to get started.