Associations Between Physical Activity and Depressive Symptoms by Weight Status Among Adults With Type 2 Diabetes: Results From Diabetes MILES–Australia

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD  $115.00

1 year subscription

USD  $153.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD  $218.00

2 year subscription

USD  $285.00


To examine associations between physical activity (PA) and depressive symptoms among adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (Type 2 DM), and whether associations varied according to weight status.


Diabetes MILES–Australia is a national survey of adults with diabetes, focused on behavioral and psychosocial issues. Data from 705 respondents with Type 2 DM were analyzed, including: demographic and clinical characteristics, PA (IPAQ-SF), depressive symptoms (PHQ-9), and BMI (self-reported height and weight). Data analysis was performed using ANCOVA.


Respondents were aged 59 ± 8 years; 50% women. PA was negatively associated with depressive symptoms for the overall sample (ηp2= 0.04,P < .001) and all weight categories separately: healthy (ηp2 0.11 P = .041,), overweight (ηp2= 0.04, P = .025) and obese (ηp2 = 0.03, P = .007). For people who were healthy (BMI 18.5 to 24.9) or overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9), high amounts of PA were significantly associated with fewer depressive symptoms; for adults who were obese (BMI ≥ 30) however, both moderate and high amounts were associated with fewer depressive symptoms.


PA is associated with fewer depressive symptoms among adults with Type 2DM, however the amount of PA associated with fewer depressive symptoms varies according to weight status. Lower amounts of PA might be required for people who are obese to achieve meaningful reductions in depressive symptoms compared with those who are healthy weight or overweight. Further research is needed to establish the direction of the relationship between PA and depressive symptoms.

Craike is with the Institute of Sport, Exercise, and Active Living (ISEAL), Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia. Mosely is with the Graduate School of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Australia; and Body-Matters Australasia, Sydney, Australia. Browne and Speight are with the School of Psychology, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia; and The Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes, Diabetes Victoria, Melbourne, Australia. Speight is also with AHP Research, Hornchurch, UK. Pouwer is with the Dept of Medical and Clinical Psychology, CoRPS, Tilburg University, The Netherlands.

Craike ( is corresponding author.