Meet the daily target of 10k steps to reduce risk of diabetes


Dr. Madhur Verma, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Community & Family Medicine, AIIMS, Bathinda, Punjab; an dDr Sanjay Kalra, DM (AIIMS); President-elect, SAFES, Bharti Hospital, Karnal, India;     18 December 2022

Walking more than 10,000 steps daily reduces the risk of new-onset type 2 diabetes by almost half compared to those who walked just 5000-6000 steps in a day irrespective of age, body mass index (BMI) or sedentary time, according to a study of more than 5000 participants, which analysed Fitbit data and published online December 2 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.1


A total of 5677 participants, who were a part of the ongoing All of Us Research Program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), were enrolled in the present study between 2010 and 2021. None of the study subjects had previously diagnosed diabetes.  The participants, aged 51 years (median), were mostly overweight with BMI 27.8 kg/m2 (median). Women comprised three-quarters of the participants and the majority of them were of White ethnicity. The researchers examined data from the personal Fitbit devices of the participants to calculate the rate of new onset type 2 diabetes. The physical activity was classified as light active (1.5-3 metabolic equivalent task [METs]), fairly active (3-6 METs) and very active (>6 METs).


Over a median follow-up of 3.8 years, participants were very active per week for 112 minutes (16 minutes per day and 7924 steps/day), which is significantly less than the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week. During the follow-up, 97 new cases of type 2 diabetes were diagnosed. Participants who averaged 10,700 daily steps lowered their risk of incident diabetes by 44% compared to those with average 6000 steps daily after adjusting for variable such as age, sex and race. At 5 years, the predicted cumulative incidence of type 2 diabetes was 0.8% among those who walked 13,245 steps in a day vs 2.3% for those who walked 4301 steps daily. No such effect was seen for age, sex, BMI or sedentary time. The beneficial effects were seen for all levels of activity.

This study investigated the relationship between physical activity and type 2 diabetes using data from wearable devices linked to electronic health records. It found that people who spent more time in any type of physical activity had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Adding to the evidence of beneficial effects of physical activity on health, it reiterates the need to remain physically active to reduce one’s risk of diabetes even if the amount of physical activity is less than that recommended by guidelines, as is evident from this study. Wearing fitness devices such as Fitbit may motivate people to remain active.



1.    Perry AS, et al. Association of longitudinal activity measures and diabetes risk: an analysis from the NIH All of Us Research Program. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2022 Dec 2;dgac695. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgac695. 

To comment on this article,
create a free account.

Sign Up to instantly get access to 10000+ Articles & 1000+ Cases

Already registered?

Login Now

Most Popular Articles

News and Updates

eMediNexus provides latest updates on medical news, medical case studies from India. In-depth medical case studies and research designed for doctors and healthcare professionals.