Living with diabetes blog

Walk your way to diabetes prevention

By Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N. February 15, 2014

An August 2013 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine suggests that how you transport yourself to work may affect more than your budget.

Researchers analyzed data provided by 20,000 residents of the United Kingdom, regarding how they traveled to work and the potential effect on their health. The results showed that those who walked to work were less likely to be overweight, were 40 percent less likely to have diabetes and 17 percent less likely to have high blood pressure compared with those who drove, rode a motorcycle or took a taxi. Even those who used public transportation that required a walk to a bus or train had a lower risk of being diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure.

Those who rode a bicycle to work also reduced their risk of being overweight and of being diagnosed with diabetes.

I remember a local news channel report from a number of years ago on a study that compared the number of calories burned walking an 18-hole golf course versus riding in a golf cart for 18 holes. Golfing, any way you do it, is exercise. But the study found that those who walked the course burned about 300 calories more on average than those who rode in a golf cart.

Recently, a Twin Cities news channel did a morning news story on a 2005 federal government program called the Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Program. The goal of this program was to increase biking and walking and decrease driving, and it looks to be a success. Volunteers from Bike Walk Twin Cities recently set up 43 locations around the city to count bikers and walkers between the hours of 4 to 6 p.m. Compared with previous counts from 2007 to 2010, Minneapolis saw a 49 percent increase in bike use and a 22 percent increase in walking. Identical programs exist in Marin County, California; Columbus, Missouri; and Sheboygan County, Wisconsin.

You are moving and shaking in the right direction. Keep up the good work!

Have a great week.

Regards,

Nancy

Feb. 15, 2014