- A study funded by the Canadian Diabetes Association showed that just two weeks of inactivity can put you in a greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
- The researchers who studied overweight older adults who experience periods of physical inactivity have a dramatic impact on their health from which it is hard to recover.
- Findings revealed that within days of the onset of inactivity, notable changes include skeletal muscle mass decline, weakness and a quick onset of insulin resistance—a common feature of type 2 diabetes.
“Just two weeks without much activity can have a dramatic impact on health from which it is difficult to recover, according to researchers who studied overweight older adults at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.” This was the report published online in The Journals of Gerontology.
The research, funded by the Canadian Diabetes Association, found that sudden and short period of inactivity can accelerate the onset of diabetes and raise blood sugar levels among pre-diabetic participants. Additionally, researchers reported that some subjects did not completely recover when they resume doing normal activities for two weeks.
“We expected to find that the study participants would become diabetic,” says lead author Chris McGlory. “But we were surprised to see that they didn’t revert back to their healthier state when they returned to normal activity.”
The study involved asking participants to reduce their daily steps to 1000 steps or below per day. Their steps and blood sugar levels were monitored over the period of two weeks.
The findings suggest that older adults who had periods of inactivity due to illness, hospitalization and bed rest, for example, are at a greater risk of facing harmful consequences to their overall health.
“Treatment of type 2 diabetes is expensive and often complicated,” says Stuart Phillips, the professor in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster who oversaw the research.
“If people are going to be off their feet for an extended period they need to work actively to recover their ability to handle blood sugar,” he says.
Over 30 million Americans have diabetes while more than 84 million are pre-diabetic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Type 2 diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases, with nearly 60,000 new cases reported each year, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in Canada and the leading cause of adult blindness and amputation.
According to McGlory, “In order for pre-diabetic older adults to recover metabolic health and prevent further declines from periods of inactivity, strategies such as active rehabilitation, dietary changes and perhaps medication might be useful,”
Source: Science Daily