Take steps to cut cardiovascular risk

20 December 2013        

Category: BHF Comment

Elderly couple walking a dog

A large study of people with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) has found that an extra 2,000 steps each day over one year reduces the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke by eight per cent.

Researchers looked at over 9,000 adults with IGT and cardiovascular disease or at least one other cardiovascular risk factor. Using a pedometer, they recorded the average number of steps taken per day over a week, both at the start of the study and again 12 months later.

IGT is often a precursor for diabetes, which is a risk factor for coronary heart disease.

Even a brisk walk in your lunch break will count.

Our Senior Cardiac Nurse, Julie Ward, said: “Getting plenty of exercise has many health benefits and helps to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. This is particularly important for people with diabetes as they are already at greater risk of heart attack and stroke.

“We should all aim for 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week. This means any activity which makes you feel warmer, breathe harder and makes your heart beat faster than normal.

“If 150 minutes sounds intimidating, remember it can be broken up into smaller chunks. After all, the 2,000 steps in this study equates to roughly 20 minutes of moderately-paced walking, so even a brisk walk in your lunch break will count.”