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Fewer Steps Per Day Send Disease Markers Up
Date:3/18/2008

Insulin levels hike very fast when daily physical activity declines, Danish study found.,,,,

TUESDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- Forget about regular, scheduled exercise for a minute. If you just drop your average daily activity level -- by taking elevators instead of stairs, by parking your car in the closest space, or by never walking to do errands -- you increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease and premature death, according to new Danish research.

And, those changes begin in as little as 14 days after you start to reduce your activity level, the researchers say.

The team found that when healthy men cut their daily activity, their insulin levels spiked dramatically, as did levels of blood factors such as C-peptide and triglycerides -- suggesting an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.

"It is amazing that only two weeks of reduced stepping can induce numerous metabolic abnormalities," said the one of the study's authors, Dr. Rikke Krogh-Madsen, from the Centre of Inflammation and Metabolism in Copenhagen. "It is of special interest that impaired metabolism occurred without a total weight gain," she added.

"The message here is that a lot of significant changes can occur without a huge change in weight, so if your only barometer of success and health is weight, you're missing out," said exercise physiologist Polly deMille, from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

Results of the study were published as a letter in the March 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study included 18 young, healthy men with no family history of diabetes. None of the men smoked, and none participated in a regular exercise program for more than two hours each week.

The study volunteers were divided into two groups. The first group included eight men with an average age of 27 and an average BMI of 22.9, which is well within t
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