Just a Few More Steps

Increasing daily step count can help reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) As most people know, plenty of exercise is likely to prevent obesity and reduce the risk of diabetes. Yet, a new study finds that simply increasing the amount of steps taken each day will also reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes.

The findings are published online by the British Medical Journal.

The study, conducted by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne, is the first of its kind to analyze the impact of daily step counts on insulin sensitivity. Currently, there are various guidelines for daily step counts. They are intended to help reduce body mass index and insulin resistance. One such guideline recommends taking 10,000 steps per day. Another prescribes taking 3,000 steps, five days a week.

After following and analyzing 592 adults over the course of five years, the researchers found that a higher daily step count over the long-term corresponded to decreased obesity and diabetes-related risks. The participants who reported higher step counts exhibited a lower body mass index, lower waist to hip ratio, and improved insulin sensitivity. In addition, they found that those who improved their daily step count to the 10,000 steps per day guideline improved their sensitivity to insulin by three times compared to those who increased their step count according to the 3,000 steps guideline.

According to the authors, this study further adds to a body of evidence that demonstrates how increased physical activity is beneficial in averting the risk of obesity and diabetes.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
January 16, 2011
Last Updated:
January 17, 2011