Speed Counts When Walking To Beat Diabetes, Says New Study

While it’s known that regular walking can help you ward off diabetes, a new study attempts to quantify the speed that maximizes the exercise’s benefits. A study just a few months ago revealed that it takes as little as 2,337 daily steps to reduce our risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and just about 4,000 steps a day to cut our risk of dying from any disease, including diabetes.

Finding 10 studies that suited the purposes of the researchers, they determined that walking between 3-4 mph provided a 24% lower risk of getting the disease over people who walked at the slower speed of 2 mph.

What’s more, it was found that going even faster – at a rate above 4 mph slashed diabetes risk by 39%. In fact, the researchers say that every 1 km/h increase in walking speed was linked with a 9% lower risk of getting T2D. Walking at 4 mph translates to carrying out about 8,000 steps in one hour.

For starters, they found that three of the studies they relied on had a moderate risk of bias, while seven of them had serious risks due to the ways in which walking speed was reported and the way in which they evaluated other influences on the study participants.

“The present meta-analysis of cohort studies suggested that fairly brisk and brisk/striding walking, independent of the total volume of physical activity or time spent walking per day, may be associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes in adults,” they concluded.

“While current strategies to increase total walking time are beneficial, it may also be reasonable to encourage people to walk at faster speeds to further increase the health benefits of walking.”