Healthy Lifestyle Program Increases Activity Levels For Adults At Risk For Type 2 Diabetes

Adults who are at risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease can greatly increase physical activity capacities through a lifestyle intervention program, according to a new study conducted by University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences researchers.

Previous research has shown that similar initiatives help men and women lose weight and reduce the risk of diabetes. The new program, which is designed for use in community settings like worksites or senior citizen centers, showed a significant increase in physical activity levels.

Analysis during the year-long study also showed that participants attained more physical exercise during the summer months versus the winter.

"This may seem like an obvious finding, but this evidence that season influences the physical activity levels of participants in community-based lifestyle interventions will allow us to adjust these programs accordingly and offer extra encouragement and strategies to continue striving to meet physical activity goals during the winter," said Yvonne Eaglehouse, Ph.D., lead author of the study.

Lifestyle balance

Dr. Eaglehouse and her colleagues looked at the positive impact of the Group Lifestyle Balance program. The program consisted of 22 sessions administered over 12 months, and the goal was to implement lifestyle changes that helped lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease. 223 prediabetic individuals with an average age of 58-years old participated.

The results showed that Group Lifestyle Balance participants added an average of 45 to 52 minutes of moderate intensity exercise at the conclusion of the 12 months compared to when the study began.

"This is one of the few programs of its kind to report on physical activity-related outcomes in a large group and the only known diabetes prevention healthy lifestyle program to examine the effect of season and weather on changes in physical activity levels," said Andrea Kriska, Ph.D., senior author of the study. "Since increased physical activity is one of the primary targets of these programs, it is critical to know if it is working and what can be done to improve the chances that participants reach their goals."

Source: EurekAlert!

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