Reasons behind physical inactivity among diabetes patients

Université de Montréal researchers have found that fear of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) act as major reason for physical inactivity among diabetics. The study confirms earlier studies that found 60 percent of adult diabetics aren’t physically active.

Lack of understanding of insulin metabolism came alive when one hundred type 1 diabetes patients answered questionnaires to assess their barriers to physical activity. The biggest fear was hypoglycaemia and other barriers included interference with work schedule, loss of control over diabetes and low levels of fitness.

When questioned further, only 52 of the participants demonstrated appropriate knowledge of how insulin is metabolized and processed. Those individuals who best understood how insulin works in their body were shown to be less fearful of physical activity. Such knowledge is essential in order to adapt insulin and/or food intake to prevent hypoglycaemia induced by exercise.

Dr. Rémi Rabasa-Lhoret, co-author of the study says,

“Our findings confirmed our clinical suspicion.Exercise has been proven to improve health and one would assume diabetics would remain active. Yet our findings indicate that type 1 diabetics, much like the general public, are not completely comfortable with exercise.”

Source: Science Daily

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