‘I’m a doctor – the way you walk could slash your risk of type 2 diabetes by 39%’

A doctor has revealed a simple activity that could slash your risk of diabetes by as much as 39 percent. Dr Miriam Stoppard explained that this is significant because the blood sugar condition holds 537 million people in its grip, with the trend showing no signs of slowing down.

Worryingly, diabetes can often lay the harmful groundwork for complications, ranging from blindness to heart attacks. This makes minimising your risk of the condition crucial.

Fortunately, walking faster could do this with a gusto. A study, from Imperial College London, the University of Medical Sciences in Iran and Oslo New ­University College in Norway, looked at 508,121 patients from across the UK, Japan and the US to determine how fast to walk.

Dr Stoppard penned for The Mirror: “The good news is we have a worldwide study showing striding out and walking briskly is the prescription for reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes. To get that benefit you need to walk faster than 1.86mph (3km/h). 

“People who walk faster than 3.7mph (6km/h) lower their risk by 39 percent. But even strolling at less than 3km/h confers a 15 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes, ­irrespective of the time spent walking. 

“A fairly brisk walk of between 5km/h and 6km/h will lower the risk by 24 percent.” The results suggest that the faster you walk, the less risk of diabetes you have.

The doctor explained that the more emphasis you put on speed, the more you’re likely to be fitter, with greater muscle mass and better overall health. In fact, walking faster than 6km/h could lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by a whopping 39 percent.

Neil Gibson, of Diabetes UK, welcomed the study’s findings. Gibson said: “Being physically active, which can include brisk walking, can help lower a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes and increasing the ­intensity of activity, such as by walking faster, gives greater overall health benefits.”

While the study offers some impressive findings, Dr Stoppard urged caution. “But take care,” she said. “Everyone should walk at a pace that suits them.”

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