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Increase Physical Activity to Lower Risk of Diabetes

Once again a study finds that more exercise and less sitting improves glucose metabolism and so reduces the risk of diabetes. Is anyone surprised anymore by the health benefits of physical activity?

A study conducted in Finland found that in 660 adults 67 to 69 years of age, those who were most active throughout the day had the fewest glucose metabolism disorders (e.g. impaired glucose tolerance) and their insulin sensitivity was better - when compared to less active adults, especially sedentary couch potatoes. The best is to be active and move around a lot during the day, and not just be physically active during a short period.

Other studies find that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes is about twice as common in sedentary adults compared to active older adults. Study after study finds that increasing physical activity (as compared to being sedentary or less active) improves a person's health numerous ways and lowers the risk of all sorts of diseases.

From Medical Xpress: Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and less sitting reduce the risk of diabetes in older adults

According to a recent study, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and less sedentary time improve glucose metabolism and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in older adults. Based on the results, it is important to encourage older adults to avoid sedentary time and increase moderate-to-vigorous physical activity to improve their glucose metabolism. 

The study is part of the population-based Oulu1945 survey conducted in 2013–2015 by the University of Oulu and Oulu Deaconess Institute's Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Finland. The survey involved a total of 660 Oulu residents born in 1945 and between the ages of 67 and 69, at that time. Physical activity and sedentary time were measured with a wrist-worn accelerometer for a period of two weeks, and the glucose metabolism was examined using an oral glucose tolerance test. The subjects were divided into the following four profiles based on the amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and sedentary time: "couch potatoes," "light movers," "sedentary actives" and "actives."

"Active" older adults had a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes and prediabetes than older adults in the 'couch potatoes' profile, one in two of whom were found to have a glucose metabolism disorder. The blood glucose and insulin concentrations in the 'active' profile were lower throughout the glucose tolerance test compared to those in the less physically active groups. Older adults in the 'active' profile had a better glucose tolerance and muscle insulin sensitivity than those in the 'couch potatoes' profile, both clear signs of a reduced risk of diabetes.

".... By the activity profiles, we can see that, from the point of view of glucose metabolism, physical activity alone is not enough: you should be active and potter about throughout the day," says researcher Miia Länsitie.

The risk of glucose metabolism disorders increases significantly in older age, making it essential to find ways to prevent diabetes in older adults. Based on this study, an active lifestyle, including moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and limited sedentary time, also promotes older adults' glucose metabolism and can play a significant role in preventing diabetes in older people.

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