Physical Activity in Pre-Diabetes is Associated With Better Mental and Physical Health

Although exercise is certainly overrated when it comes to losing weight, I have often blogged about the many benefits of being physically active.

A paper just published online in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice by Lorian Taylor and several of my colleagues here at the University of Alberta, we explored the relationship between physical activity and health-related quality of life in individuals with prediabetes.

Based on a completed mailed-in questionnaire in 232 individuals with prediabetes residing in Northern Alberta, individuals with prediabetes who reported being physically active (i.e., achieving >600METmin per week; 38% of responders) reported significantly better physical and mental health. than those not achieving this recommended level of physical activity.

The study raises two important issues:

1) Why were over 60% of the individuals with prediabetes not meeting physical activity goals, especially when physical activity has been shown to significantly delay the onset of diabetes?

2) Is the association between less physical activity and poorer mental and physical health truly causal or are the poorer mental and physical health perhaps the very reasons for not being active?

This is certainly an area that deserves further study.

Toronto, ON

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Taylor LM, Spence JC, Raine K, Plotnikoff RC, Vallance JK, & Sharma AM (2010). Physical activity and health-related quality of life in individuals with prediabetes. Diabetes research and clinical practice PMID: 20727611