A US study has found people with type 2 diabetes who undertake
regular walking for exercise can save themselves almost a dime with
The University of Michigan researchers found walking programs
that use pedometers to help people with diabetes become more
physically active produce out-of-pocket savings.
"In general, people with diabetes face higher health care costs
than people without diabetes, since diabetes management includes
medical costs from daily blood sugar monitoring equipment to
regular vision and foot assessments," said researcher Mona
Considering the trend in rising health care costs, the research
team examined step count data for 7,594 obese participants in a
walking program (Walkingspree) in 2010.
The participants were offered savings of up to 20 per cent of
their out-of-pocket health care expenses, providing their step
counts were uploaded every 30 days and that daily averages of at
least 5,000 steps were maintained for three months or more.
The researchers compared the change in total annual health care
costs for the year before and after the program.
Their findings included:
- Every additional 100 daily steps taken by participants was
related to an average individual saving of $9.07.
- On average, individuals without diabetes experienced greater
total cost reductions compared to those with diabetes or diabetes
- Among individuals who averaged at least 5,000 daily steps, the
average expected total change in annual health care costs was
$872.67 for people with diabetes and $2491.88 for people with
diabetes with complications.
Even though people with diabetes have greater health care costs,
increasing daily steps may help slow the rate of costs increases
These findings were presented at a paper session (titled "Can a
Pedometer-Based Walking Program Lower Health Care Costs Among
Adults with Type 2 Diabetes?") on March 31, 2017.