We all know by now how important exercising is to the health, but researchers from UCL and the University of Cambridge have given us one more reason to take exercise seriously.
People who carry out an hour of moderate to vigorous exercise every day can reduce their risk of getting type 2 diabetes by 40%, the researchers found. The study also revealed that any amount of physical activity can reduce the risk of developing the disease.
The study analysed data from 23 studies carried out in the USA, Asia, Australia and Europe. By combining observations from these studies, the researchers were able to separate out the effect of leisure time physical activity from other behavioural factors, and obtain better estimates of the effects of different physical activity levels.
The UK Department of Health recommends 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a week, which includes brisk walking, gentle cycling or sports such as doubles tennis.
The study, which analysed summarized data from over a million people, demonstrated that while any amount of physical activity is good for you, the benefits of exercise are greater for people who exceed this recommended level.
According to Andrea Smith (UCL Health Behaviour Research Centre and Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge), who led the study: “Our results suggest a major potential for physical activity to slow down or reverse the global increase in type 2 diabetes and should prove useful for health impact modelling, which frequently forms part of the evidence base for policy decisions.”
Another reason to take exercise seriously.