Researcher found that reducing regular physical activity impairs glycemic control (control of blood sugar levels); suggesting that inactivity may increase the risk of developing Type II Diabetes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 79 million American adults have prediabetes and will likely develop diabetes later in life.

“We now have evidence that physical activity is an important part of the daily maintenance of glucose levels,” said John Thyfault an assistant professor in Missouri University’s departments of Nutrition and Exercise physiology and Internal Medicine. “Even in the short term, reducing daily activity and ceasing regular exercise causes acute changes in the body associated with diabetes that can occur before weight gain and the development of obesity.”

Thyfault, studied the link between low levels of physical activity and elevated levels of postproandial glucose (PPG) the amount of a type of sugar, called glucose, in the blood after a meal. PPG has been associated with increased risk for type 2 diabetes.

In the study, researchers monitored the activity levels and diets of health and moderately active young adults. Participants then reduced their physical activity by half for three days while continuing their routine diet habits when they were active. Continuous glucose monitors worn by the participants showed that during the period of inactivity there was a significant increase level of PPG.

“It is recommended that people take about 10,000 steps each day,” Thyfault, said. “Recent evidence shows that most Americans are only taking about half of that, or 5,000 steps a day. This chronic inactivity leads to impaired glucose control and increases the risk of developing diabetes.”

The study, “Lowering Physical Activity Impairs Glycemic Control in Healthy Volunteers,” will be published inMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise