UT Health Center Diabetes Study

Laura Hix has battled diabetes for 3 years. Last year her blood sugar levels skyrocketed and she needed to bring them down.

"At that point, I was just desperate for anything that would help," says Laura.

Laura joined a study at UT Health Center, where diabetics were given a pedometer and asked to walk more to see if exercise would better manage their blood sugar. Laura says the pedometer helped get her more active and she started walking everywhere. As a result, her blood sugar levels "dropped drastically to almost normal," says Laura.

Diabetic nutritionist Regina Dick who lead the study, says Laura is proof that exercise does work to manage diabetes.

"It is a tool just like a drug to lower blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and weight," says Regina.

But the study also proved pedometers aren't always enough to get more active. Of the 42 patients given pedometers, only 6 people increased their steps and saw the health benefits. In fact most didn't even get close to 10 thousand steps a day, the recommended amount.

"They only averaged overall 65 hundred steps per day," says Regina.

Laura is glad the pedometer study inspired her to get healthy.

"I am more aware of walking down the stairs and I try to walk more. I park further away so I have to walk more," says Laura.

She and Regina hope this study will also inspire other diabetics to get active because exercise really can make a difference.