Potential of a Sports Club–Based Exercise Program for Improving Physical Activity in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Although the infrastructure of Austrians’ sports clubs is well developed, exercise classes for people suffering from type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM) do not exist. This feasibility study evaluates factors for participating in target group specific exercise courses (TGSEC) and changes in physical activity.


This intervention study was performed in 22 communities of Austria. Initial TGSEC were offered to T2DM patients over 2 months. Participants were surveyed at 4 time points with a questionnaire: before the program, 2, 6 and 12 months after the initial questionnaire.


881 patients aged 59.0 (SD: 9.6) years took part in TGSEC. At baseline a lack of suitable exercise groups prevented 51% from being active. 58% were encouraged by the medical sector. After 12 months the weekly time spent on exercise training was increased from 1.40 (SD: 2.55) hours to 2.15 (SD: 3.00) hours (P < .001). The dropout rate during the first 2 months was 12.9%. The rate of return for the 12 months questionnaire was 42%.


TGSEC provided by sports clubs attract people suffering from T2DM and effectively enhance physical activity.

Lackinger (c.lackinger@sportunion.at) and Haider are with the Dept of Health Promotion and Prevention, Sportunion Österreich, Vienna, Austria. Kosi, Harreiter, Winhofer, and Kautzky-Willer are with the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Dept of Internal Medicine III, Medical University of Vienna, Austria.