One study showed that being active could help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, even in individuals who have a high genetic risk for the disease.
Research has observed that higher levels of total physical activity, particularly moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity, were strongly associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
The study results indicate that higher levels of physical activity should be promoted as an important strategy to prevent type 2 diabetes.
The study included 59,325 UK Biobank participants who wore wrist activity trackers at the start of the study who were then observed for approximately 7 years to monitor health outcomes.
The UK Biobank is a large-scale database and reference resource containing anonymised genetic, health and lifestyle data on 500,000 individuals.
The data included genetic markers linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. Individuals who had a high genetic risk score had a 2.4 times greater risk of type 2 diabetes than individuals who had a high genetic risk score Bass.
The study showed that more than one hour of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity daily was linked to a 74% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes compared with individuals who did less than 5 minutes of daily physical activity.
The result remained the same even after other factors, including genetic risk, were taken into account.
Another compelling result was that individuals who had a high genetic risk in the most physically active group had a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes compared with individuals with a low genetic risk in the least active group.
Family history and genetic risk cannot be controlled for, but this finding suggests that with an active lifestyle an individual can offset much of the excessive risk of type 2 diabetes.
Moderate-intensity physical activity refers to activities that will make you sweat and leave you slightly out of breath, including general gardening and brisk walking.
Examples of vigorous-intensity physical activity include cycling uphill or at a fast pace, aerobic dancing, running, and heavy gardening that includes digging, all of which will leave you breathless or make you breathe heavily.
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