Study: Calculating the Steps to Lower Diabetes Risk


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You’ve probably heard the expression, “Get your steps in,” but just how many steps are needed to make a difference in your health?

The average American takes anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day, which equates to 1.5 to 2 miles, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

However, the CDC suggests that most adults should aim for at least 10,000 steps, which is equivalent of walking 5 miles, a day to maintain a healthier existence.

If walking 5 miles a day puts a spring in your step toward a healthy lifestyle, just how many steps would it take to lower your risk for type 2 diabetes?

A recent study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism looked at Fitbit data collected from 5,600 participants in the All of Us research program and cross-referenced it with type 2 diabetes diagnoses over time to come up with the magic number.

Researchers concluded that participants who walked at least 10,700 steps a day were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than someone who took 6,000 a day.

Latinos and Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs when there is too much sugar in the blood and the body can’t regulate it because it’s not producing enough insulin, which is the hormone needed to regulate movement.

Over a lifetime, U.S. adults have a 40% chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

But if you’re Latino that chance increases by 10%, according to the CDC.

In addition, Latinos are more likely to develop diabetes at a younger age and are at a higher risk for diabetes complications, such as kidney failure and diabetes-related vision loss and blindness.

While there is no known cure for type 2 diabetes, you can take steps to manage diabetes-related symptoms, such as testing your blood sugar levels regularly, developing a plan to eat healthier and exercise more, and finding a way to appropriately handle stress.

To prevent or delay type 2 diabetes, the CDC suggests drinking more water and , eating more fruits and vegetables, and increasing daily physical activity like getting your steps in.

All of Us Should be Represented in Research Studies

 While we may be one step closer to lowering the risk for diabetes, the data used to calculate the number of steps was lacking diversity.

Many participants were white women described as both active and healthy.

So the number of steps may be more than 10,700 for someone who is a person of color, especially if they have a health condition.

Fitness is a research area that lacks diversity, which holds the key to the magic number of steps that work for All of Us.

The All of Us Research Program needs participants representing different races, ethnicities, genders, and ages who are willing to share data from their fitness trackers through the WEAR Study.

The WEAR Study aligns with the All of Us Research Program’s effort to collect and study data from one million or more people in the U.S.

Those who participate in the study will be asked to turn over health and behavior, such as steps taken, data over from Fitbit devices, and participants may receive a new Fitbit at no cost.

Take the first step to healthy future for everyone by joining All of Us today (also in Spanish)!

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