(January 14, 2011 - Insidermedicine)
Increasing the number of steps taken every day can help promote weight loss and metabolic health among middle aged adults, according to research published in the British Medical Journal.
Here are some tips to help you take more steps every day:
• Leave your car at home –try walking or public transportation instead
• Take the stairs instead of the elevator
• Finish your lunch break with a quick stroll around the neighborhood
Researchers from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute measured the body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio, and insulin sensitivity of nearly 600 middle-aged adults. The investigators also gave the participants pedometers and showed them how to use them to measure the number of steps they take every day. Five years later, the participants were re-assessed.
Increasing the number of steps takien daily during the five-year study period was associated with a lower BMI and waist-to-hip ratio. It was also associated with greater insulin sensitivity, which is a sign of good metabolic health. These associations were not affected by how much the participants ate. The investigators estimated that sedentary individuals who attained a goal of taking 10,000 steps a day would see three times the improvement in insulin sensitivity as those who only increased their activity to 3,000 steps a day, five days a week.
Today’s research adds to the mounting evidence that increasing daily activity levels is important for good health.