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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2005 Sep;99(3):1193-204.

Epidemiological evidence for the role of physical activity in reducing risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

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Div. of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Epidemiological studies suggest that physically active individuals have a 30-50% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than do sedentary persons and that physical activity confers a similar risk reduction for coronary heart disease. Risk reductions are observed with as little as 30 min of moderate-intensity activity per day. Protective mechanisms of physical activity include the regulation of body weight; the reduction of insulin resistance, hypertension, atherogenic dyslipidemia, and inflammation; and the enhancement of insulin sensitivity, glycemic control, and fibrinolytic and endothelial function. Public health initiatives promoting moderate increases in physical activity may offer the best balance between efficacy and feasibility to improve metabolic and cardiovascular health in largely sedentary populations.

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