New Study Reveals How Walking Speed Can Affect Diabetes Risk

Don’t miss out on CNN’s Fitness, But Better newsletter to embark on your health journey today. Written by trusted experts, our seven-part guide may be exactly what you’re looking for. Researchers have discovered that when it comes to walking and type 2 diabetes risk, the speed at which you move is just as important as the frequency of your walks. Findings indicate that brisk walking can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by nearly 40%. This conclusion is based on a study released in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The research, conducted by Dr. Ahmad Jayedi from the Social Determinants of Health Research Center at Iran’s Semnan University of Medical Sciences, reviews previous studies conducted in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan between 1999 and 2022. The objective was to establish a clear link between walking speed, as reported by participants or measured in timed tests, and the development of type 2 diabetes among adults. The results revealed that individuals who walked at an average or normal pace had a 15% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who walked casually. But the risk lowered even further with faster walking speeds. Walking at a “fairly brisk” pace reduced the risk by 24%, while brisk/striding walking led to a 39% reduction. The study also found that for each kilometer increase in walking speed above brisk, the risk of developing the disease reduced by 9%. Experts agree that this study serves as a reminder about the importance of physical activity for health and that faster walking is even better. Fitness trackers, such as watches, pedometers, or smartphone apps, can be helpful for tracking your walking pace. If you want a quick and easy way to measure exercise intensity, you can rely on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “talk test”.


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