Apr 25, 2022
Dr. John Bellettiere is the assistant professor of epidemiology at the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science at UC San Diego. Alexis Garduno is a third-year student in the UC San Diego and San Diego State University joint doctoral program in public health and the first author in a multi-institutional research effort better to understand the impact of physical activity on health. Their recently released study analyzed data about the total steps taken per day, the intensity of the walking, and the risk of development of Type 2 diabetes in postmenopausal women. Study results indicated that for each 2,000 additional steps per day, there was a 12% reduction in diabetes risk.
John elaborates, "Well, we set out to understand how steps per day was related to incident diabetes in older women. Long have we known that physical activity is important for the prevention of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. But for a long time, we have not been able to measure with good accuracy the everyday movements that people make. Previously, we had to ask individuals how much physical activity do you engage in on a given day. And so, with those self-reports, it's hard for people to remember and give good estimates. And we also don't get high resolution on how many steps they're able to take."
Alexis explains, "We followed these women for up to approximately 6.9 years, and we had questionnaire data about their medical history, which we also validated with a physician diagnosis and showed high agreement between the physician diagnosis and the questionnaire data. And then all of our physical activity measures were taken from these women wearing the accelerometer."
"It's important to think about where you're at and any increase in your daily movement, whether that's remembering to take an extra walk around the block or starting off your morning a little bit more active. All of those steps will make a difference regardless of how active you are at the starting point."
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Study published in Diabetes Care