Walking or cycling to work pays off for type 2 diabetes patients
medwireNews: Patients with type 2 diabetes should be encouraged to walk or cycle to work to help reduce the burden of the disease.
Evidence from the UK Biobank database for 6896 commuters with type 2 diabetes showed that such active commuting increased weekly moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) by 72.9 minutes among men and 104.5 minutes for women, compared with driving.
This makes a substantial contribution to the UK Government recommended levels of 150 min/week, Ashley Cooper (University of Bristol, UK) and colleagues point out in BMJ Open.
Active commuting also reduced sedentary time by 1.1 and 0.8 hours per day for men and women, respectively.
“Since adults with [type 2 diabetes] typically spend less than 3% of the day engaged in MVPA, interventions that focus on reducing sedentary time may be more effective to improve health,” the researchers note. Indeed, “reallocating 30 min of prolonged sedentary time to more active pursuits can improve body composition and cholesterol levels,” they say.
Despite the benefits, just 5.4% of the study sample walked or cycled to work, whereas 80.4% went by car. Distance from work was the predominant factor associated with active commuting, with few people living more than 1.5 miles away choosing to walk or cycle.
By Lucy Piper
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