Walking briskly or cycling for the recommended 150 minutes a week can reduce a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 26%, according to new research by UCL and the University of Cambridge.
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 study also revealed that any amount of physical activity can reduce the risk of developing the disease.
The research, published in the journal Diabetologia, is the most comprehensive study to look at the impact of exercise, independent of other behavioural factors such as diet, on a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
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. According to the Health Survey for England (2012), as many as a third of adults are not meeting this target.
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.