SYDNEY, June 6 (Xinhua) -- A new study led by the University of Sydney has revealed that undertaking regular physical activity could lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, even if someone has a genetic risk of developing the disease.
According to the research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine on Monday, those who undertake more than an hour of "moderate to vigorous" level of physical activity per day are at 74 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, when compared with those who undertake less than five minutes of physical activity per day.
Researchers also found that participants, who undertook greater levels of physical activity but were in a higher risk category for type 2 diabetes, were at a lower risk of being diagnosed with the medical condition, in comparison to those were least active and in a lower risk category.
"We are unable to control our genetic risk and family history, but this finding provides promising and positive news that through an active lifestyle, one can 'fight off' much of the excessive risk of type 2 diabetes," said Melody Ding, senior author of the study and associate professor at the University of Sydney.
The study involved 59,325 adults from the United Kingdom Biobank, a biomedical research resource and database, housing anonymized, genetic, lifestyle and health information relating to half a million people across Britain.
Participants wore activity trackers on their wrists at the beginning of the study and were monitored for up to seven years, with health outcomes recorded.
The study suggested that that physical activity should be promoted as a preventive measure against the onset of diabetes.
"Our hope is that this study will inform public health and clinical guidelines so that it can help chronic disease prevention for health professionals, organizations and the public," the expert added.
Data from the World Health Organization showed that about 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, and 1.5 million deaths are directly attributed to diabetes each year. ■