Walking 6,000 or more steps a day can decrease the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease for women in their midlife, a new study has claimed.
The study published in the journal Menopause, found that habitual physical activity - whether it comes from exercising or just activities of daily living - has the power to improve women's health.
Walking for 6,000 or more steps daily decreases the risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome (a diabetes precursor and a risk for cardiovascular disease), the journal reported.
In Passo Fundo, Brazil, 292 women who were 45 to 72 years old wore pedometers and recorded their daily steps. They also had health checks such as cholesterol and blood sugar and waist and hip measurement (to gauge abdominal obesity, which is a risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease).
Women who took 6,000 or more steps per day were considered active and those who took fewer inactive.
The active women were much less likely than the inactive ones to be obese and have metabolic syndrome or frank diabetes, whether or not they had gone through menopause – when these risks usually go up – and whether or not they were using hormone therapy, the study found.