More walking, less sitting can help keep diabetes at bay, docs say

While many of us are accustomed to sitting in our offices all day -- even going so far as eating at our desks -- doctors at today’s ADA conference say to break that habit for good.  Frank W. Booth, a heart researcher at the University of Missouri-Columbia, warned about the dangers of being sedentary, but noted how even a little physical activity can go a long way for your health. 

He described how, while human genetics have not changed since hunter-gatherer days, our lifestyles have become increasingly sedentary.  The hunter-gatherer human took about 24,000 steps per day, compared to the modern human’s 4,000 steps. The change has taken a toll on our health, as seen in the ever increasing incidence of Type II diabetes.

But Booth reassured, “reversing inactivity would reverse or prevent Type II diabetes.”  He recommends simply getting up and walking around or stretching every 30 minutes.  A 2008 study published in Diabetes Care found that taking any sort of breaks from sitting were associated with lower waist circumference, body mass index, triglycerides, and plasma glucose. 

If you find it hard to remember, take a tip from a friend of Booth’s who works at Boeing: set up a pop-up notification on your computer that reminds you to take a break. 

To check out more Check Up items go to