Diabetics exercise less than others

Jan. 26, 2007 at 3:32 PM
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DENVER, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Studies show that physical activity helps prevent diabetes and its complications, but a survey finds diabetics are less active than other U.S. adults.

According to a study by researchers at the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center just 39 percent of adults with diabetes are physically active, compared to 58 percent of adults who don't have diabetes. As the number of risk factors for type 2 diabetes -- such as obesity and hypertension -- increase, the amount of physical activity decreases.

The results reinforce the need for Americans to become more physically active in general but also suggest a need to better tailor exercise programs for people who may have physical limitations as a result of their disease, according to lead researcher Dr. Elaine Morrato.

"Everyone can benefit from regular, daily physical activity," she said. "But people who have diabetes, or who are at greatest risk for it, have even greater incentive to get out there and exercise."

Increased physical activity can't prevent type 1 diabetes, but it can help prevent complications in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Numerous studies have shown that regular physical activity does help prevent type 2 diabetes.

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