Keeping count of their daily steps and boosting their physical activity can really pay off for children with Type 1 diabetes. New research from the University of Adelaide and the Women’s and Children’s Hospital found that just an extra 1000 steps a day improved their cardiovascular health.
Children with diabetes are less likely to meet recommended activity levels for their age. By tracking the daily physical activity of 90 pre-teens and young teenagers, researchers showed that those extra steps made a difference.
The research team found that 55% of the children took fewer than 10,000 steps per day. Those who increased their activity by 1000 steps showed reduced signs of thickening arteries. They also lost weight and reduced their blood pressure and triglycerides – all important risk factors for heart disease.
This is the first time the daily number of steps has been shown to relate directly to early signs of cardiovascular risk in children with Type 1 diabetes. The findings emphasise the importance of physical activity, especially for children with the disease. Funding for our universities is vital to support studies like this one – studies that demonstrate the importance of keeping Australia healthy – and clever.