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Exercise as it relates to Disease/Walking Versus Vigorous Physical Activity and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Women

Research backgroundEdit

This article was written to find the link between vigorous activity and walking to type 2 diabetes in women. Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic diseases where a patient has high blood sugar due to problems processing or producing insulin. Type 2 diabetes is typically diagnosed after the age of 40.[2] Diabetes can usually be controlled through physical activity, diet and weight loss.

Strong evidence presented by the authors suggests that physical activity is associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Studies on type 2 diabetes have become more common however none had really looked at the correlation between walking and type 2 diabetes.[3] The authors in this study conducted assessments on physical activity to quantify the response between total physical activity and incidence of type 2 diabetes in women.

Where is this research from?Edit

This research was conducted by authors from the Departments of Nutrition, Epidemiology and Harvard School of Public Health in America.

What kind of research was this?Edit

During this study 70,102 female nurses aged 40 to 65 years who did not have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or cancer at baseline were split into 2 groups based on the results the of a questionnaire which determined their weekly energy expenditure in metabolic equivalent task–hours (MET-hours). They defined any physical activity requiring 6 METs or greater as vigorous.[4]" During this research authors examine not only the intervention results and the level of activity each participant participate in, as well as questionnaires and regular medical examinations.

What did the research involve?Edit

The research looked at female nurses between the ages of 40 and 65 who did not have diabetes and assessed their level of physical activity. It then compared the nurses who regularly walked against those who participated in regularly in vigorous activity. This study assessed the following:

  • The risk of type 2 diabetes by quintile of metabolic equivalent task (MET) score
  • The potential benefits of walking compared with more vigorous activity
  • Smoking status
  • BMI
  • Alcohol assumption
  • Parental history of diabetes

What were the basic results?Edit

The results of the research concluded that women who had a physical activity of 6 METs or higher had reduced risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Approximately 47% of women in 1986 reported no vigorous activity, and 60% of all women reported that they walked at least 1 hour per week. There was a strong association between walking and the risk of type 2 diabetes. They also found a strong correlation between the pace of walking and the risk of diabetes. They also found that overweight and obese women are less likely to participate in vigorous activity and therefore are at a higher risk than those who are not obese or overweight.

Table 1 Shows the percentage of physical activity women participated in.

No vigorous activity Walking for atleast 1 hour Vigorous activity
47% of women 60% of women 40% of women

What conclusions can we make?Edit

From the results of this intervention we can conclude that not only females between the ages of 40 and 65 who participate in physical activity of 6 METs or higher have a reduced risk in type 2 diabetes, but females who also walk regularly have a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

Based on the findings of this intervention we can also conclude that vigorous activities includes calisthenics and aerobics were associated with the greatest reduction in type 2 diabetes risk. Other activities including jogging, running, and playing tennis, were also associated with the risk. Swimming and riding a bike were not significantly associated with risk of diabetes.

We can also conclude that factors such as BMI, smoking status, alcohol consumption and family history can also affect an individuals risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

Practical adviceEdit

It is important to encourage older women to get physically active and lead a healthy lifestyle to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes. Even if your family has a bad history of diabetes that doesn't mean that you can not lower your chances of getting it. The more physically active you are the lower your risk is however just walking everyday will help to reduce the risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

Further readingEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Frank , B. (1999, 20 October ). Walking Compared With Vigorous Physical Activity and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Women. [Weblog]. Retrieved 25 September 2016, from http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=192010#METHODS
  2. Baker idi . (2012, 20 October ). Diabetes: the silent pandemic and its impact on Australia. [Weblog]. Retrieved 25 September 2016, from https://static.diabetesaustralia.com.au/s/fileassets/diabetes-australia/e7282521-472b-4313-b18e-be84c3d5d907.pdf
  3. Lynch J, Helmrich SP, Lakka TA. et al. Moderately intense physical activities and high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness reduce risk of non–insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in middle-aged men. Arch Intern Med.1996;156:1307-1314.
  4. Frank , B. (1999, 20 October ). Walking Compared With Vigorous Physical Activity and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Women. [Weblog]. Retrieved 25 September 2016, from http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=192010#METHODS