In order to assess the effects of regular walking on metabolic control and cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes 26 patients from one primary care clinic, aged 60.0+/-7.3 years, participated in a walking program during 4 months. Prescribed exercise was walking for 45-60 min three times weekly. A control group of 26 patients from a neighboring primary care clinic, aged 59.3+/-6.2 years, received no exercise instructions. Thus, randomization was not performed. There were no improvements of blood pressure, body mass index, physical fitness, glycated hemoglobin A1c, fasting plasma glucose or insulin by intention-to-treat analysis. Seventeen patients in the intervention group increased their physical activity and improved systolic blood pressure; -7.6 mmHg (-15 to -0.2), diastolic blood pressure; -4.3 mmHg (-7.4 to -1.2), body mass index; -0.6 kg/m2 (-1.1 to -0.1) and total plasma cholesterol; -0.6 mmol/l (-0.9 to -0.3), (mean difference, with 95% CI). We could observe no effects on glucose metabolism in either group. Our results suggest that an increase of regular physical activity equivalent to 45 min of walking 3 days/week may suffice to improve systolic and diastolic blood pressure, lipid metabolism and BMI in patients with type 2 diabetes.