The vascular dysfunction induced by five days of inactivity requires more than one day of returning to physical activity and taking at least 10,000 steps a day to improve.

"We know the negative consequences from not engaging in physical activity can be reversed," said Paul Fadel, associate professor of medical pharmacology and physiology at University of Missouri School of Medicine.

Inactivity is typically going to make people overweight and obese. "The next step after that is insulin resistance which leads to Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease," Fadel said.

"The best treatment is to become more active, and our research lends proof to that concept," Fadel added.

The researchers studied the early effects on the body's blood vessels when someone transitions from high daily physical activity 10,000 or more steps per day to low daily physical activity, less than 5,000 steps per day.

For several years, Fadel and Thyfault have studied inactivity and glycemic control as well as how inactivity affects blood flow and vascular function through the body.

"These studies are proof we need to get people to understand their activity every day plays a role in their health, and that their health is not simply a matter of body weight and how they look in the mirror," John Thyfault, associate professor at University of Missouri School of Medicine, said.

The study appeared in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

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