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Study: Most Diabetics Don't Exercise

Posted: Friday, February 02, 2007

Doctors don’t have the time to teach and patients are too busy to do what is necessary to improve their health! Medical professionals have to do more!

Bad news when it comes to diabetics and exercise: Most people with Type 2 diabetes or at risk for it apparently ignore their doctors' advice to be active. Fewer than 40 percent get exercise, a new study found, and the more in danger the patients are, the less likely they are to be active.

That's despite an earlier study that found nearly three-quarters of diabetics said their doctors had advised them to exercise. The patients who got the strongest warnings to get moving were the least likely to listen, according to research released Friday.

"People should exercise more, that story is out," said Dr. Elaine Morrato, who led both studies. "What we're saying is, 'Here's a high-risk population that can benefit from exercise, and they're even less likely to exercise.'" Without exercise, Type 2 diabetics face complications ranging from nerve damage to high blood pressure.

Morrato, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Denver with a doctorate in public health and epidemiology, said researchers surveyed more than 22,000 patients for the new survey.

Dr. Larry Deeb, president of medicine and science at the American Diabetes Association, said by the time patients have Type 2 diabetes or are at risk of getting it, the deck is stacked against them. They may already have problems with mobility as a result of obesity or foot and circulatory disorders that make exercise difficult.

"We have to be careful not to blame the victims," he said. "There's a difference between being unable and being unwilling."

Even for the most disabled, there's hope, said author and fitness expert Charlotte Hayes, but health professionals must do more.

Hayes, who wrote "The I Hate to Exercise Book For People With Diabetes," said telling patients to exercise is different from telling them how.

Every step of exercise is important, she said. For those who can walk, a few steps a day helps. For those who can't, there are alternatives. "We take a small-steps approach," she said.

The American Diabetes Association recommends people get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, five times a week. But the association says for those who can't, there are benefits from even five minutes a day, along with everyday activities such as gardening or walking to work.

 
Morrato's team found that just 39 percent of adults with diabetes were physically active, compared to 58 percent of those without diabetes.
Among those who did not have the disease but had risk factors for it, the researchers found that the more the risk factors, the less likely the people were to be active.
Morrato said she doesn't know the answer, only that the results of her study are disappointing.

"It is difficult to be optimistic about addressing the twin epidemics of obesity and diabetes without success in increasing physical activity in the population," her study concludes. "The results of this study provide very pessimistic data."

"When you ask a family what they're doing, the answer is all about time. They know what's good for their families, but both parents are working, and sometimes the only time they have is to pick up fast food," he said. "They have to understand, your health depends on it. "We can't give up."

 

 

Source: Diabetes In Control: Diabetes Care, Feb 2007

 
 
 
 
 
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