Physical activity (PA) is a cornerstone in the management of type 2 diabetes (T2DM). This pilot investigation explores the effects of a standard diabetes education program compared with a supplemental PA intervention on diabetes-related health outcomes.
Using a prospective 2-armed design, 96 adults with T2DM were randomly assigned to either standard care (diabetes education program; n = 49) or standard care supplemented with an 8-week, individualized-counseling and community-based PA component (n = 47). Measurements were taken at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months. Primary outcomes were changes in PA (self-report) and HbA1c. Between group changes were compared using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and changes over time using repeated-measures ANOVA.
In comparison with standard care, the supplemental group demonstrated an increase in PA (Ps < 0.01) and cardiorespiratory fitness (Ps < 0.05) from baseline to all follow-up time-points. HbA1c levels declined (P < .05) from baseline to all time points in the standard care group. Reduction in cholesterol-ratio (P < .01), increase in HDL (P < .05), and reductions in blood pressure, resting heart rate and BMI (approaching statistical significance Ps < 0.10) were also reported for both groups.
PA counseling in addition to standard care is effective for promoting PA behavior change and positive health-related outcomes among individuals with T2DM.