Daily steps add up for midlife women's health

November 21, 2012, The North American Menopause Society

Moving 6,000 or more steps a day—no matter how—adds up to a healthier life for midlife women. That level of physical activity decreases the risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome (a diabetes precursor and a risk for cardiovascular disease), showed a study published online this month in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society.

Although other studies have shown the value of structured exercise in lowering such as diabetes, , and heart disease, this study has shown that habitual physical activity—whether it comes from exercising or just activities of daily living—has the power to improve women's health.

In Passo Fundo, Brazil, 292 women who were 45 to 72 years old wore pedometers and recorded their daily steps. They also had 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 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.

For midlife women, it looks like the journey to health begins with 6,000 steps!

Explore further: Metabolic syndrome makes a difference in hormone therapy risk

More information: The study, "Association between habitual physical activity and lower cardiovascular risk in premenopausal, perimenopausal, and postmenopausal women: a population-based study," by Veronica Colpani, PT, Karen Oppermann, MD, PhD, and Poli Mara Spritzer, MD, PhD, was supported by a grant from Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Technólogico and will be published in the May issue of Menopause.

Related Stories

Metabolic syndrome makes a difference in hormone therapy risk

October 30, 2012
A new analysis of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) trials show that women who had metabolic syndrome before they started hormone therapy had a greatly increased risk of heart attack or dying of heart disease. Women who ...

Study ties early menopause to heart attack, stroke

September 28, 2012
Women who experience early menopause are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than women whose menopause occurs at a later age, according to a new study by Melissa Wellons, M.D., assistant professor of Medicine in ...

Middle-aged women who were child abuse victims at increased risk for heart disease, diabetes

July 11, 2012
Middle-aged women who report having been physically abused as children are about two times more likely than other women their age to have high blood pressure, high blood sugar, a larger waistline and poor cholesterol levels, ...

Does menopause matter when it comes to diabetes?

July 26, 2011
Menopause has little to no impact on whether women become more susceptible to diabetes, according to a one-of-a-kind study.

Hysterectomy may lead to arterial stiffening in postmenopausal women

June 13, 2012
Estrogen-deficient, postmenopausal women who have had their uterus removed appear to have stiffer arteries compared to similar women who have not had a hysterectomy, according to new research from the University of Colorado ...

Recommended for you

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.