Reasonable-to-vigorous bodily exercise and fewer sitting cut back the danger of diabetes in older adults

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A recent study found that moderate to vigorous physical activity and less sedentary periods improve glucose metabolism and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in older adults. Based on the results, it is important to encourage older adults to avoid sedentary periods and increase moderate to vigorous physical activity to improve their glucose metabolism.

The study is part of the population-based Oulu1945 survey carried out in 2013–2015 by the University of Oulu and the Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine of the Oulu Deaconess Institute in Finland. The survey included a total of 660 Oulu residents who were born in 1945 and were between 67 and 69 years old at the time. Physical activity and sitting time were measured with a wrist-worn accelerometer over a period of two weeks, and glucose metabolism was examined using an oral glucose tolerance test. Subjects were divided into the following four profiles based on the amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity and sedentary time: “sofa potatoes”, “light movers”, “sedentary agents” and “agents”.

“Active” older adults had a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes and prediabetes than older adults in the “couch potatoes” profile, one in two of whom had a glucose metabolism disorder. The blood sugar and insulin concentrations in the “active” profile were lower than in the less physically active groups throughout the glucose tolerance test. Older adults in the “active” profile had better glucose tolerance and muscle insulin sensitivity than those in the “couch potatoes” profile, both clear signs of a reduced risk of diabetes.

“Previous surveys have suggested an association between physical activity in older adults and glucose metabolism, but accelerometer use was negligible in studies in older adults. In this study, we were able to differentiate between moderate to vigorous physical activity, activity and sedentary time by measuring accelerometers and around Then, on this basis, to profile the subjects in different activity profiles. We analyzed the connection between the profile of physical activity and glucose metabolism, which represents a new perspective. Based on the activity profiles, we can see this from From the point of view of glucose metabolism, physical activity alone is not enough from: You should be active and frolic all day long, “says researcher Miia Länsitie.

The risk of glucose metabolism disorders increases significantly with age, so it is important to find ways to prevent diabetes in older adults. Based on this study, an active lifestyle, including moderate to vigorous physical activity and limited sedentary time, also promotes glucose metabolism in older adults and can play an important role in preventing diabetes in the elderly.

“Older adults with long-term illnesses or functional impairments that may make it impossible to achieve the recommended levels of physical activity should spend less time sitting and doing more pottery each day to improve their glucose metabolism,” says Länsitie.

The study shows that active older adults have better physical and mental health

More information:
Miia Länsitie et al. Physical Activity Profiles and Glucose Metabolism – A Population-Based Cross-sectional Study in Older Adults, Translational Sports Medicine (2021). DOI: 10.1002 / tsm2.237

Provided by the University of Oulu

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