The Impact of Physical Activity in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes

Sandhya Rao Bassin, Reshmi Srinath

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Most patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) do not meet guideline-driven exercise recommendations. Physical activity (PA) is any form of bodily movement via skeletal muscle contraction. It can include walking, gardening, leisure activity, exercise, or movement for transportation or an occupation. Aerobic and resistance exercise have been well studied and are known to improve glycemic control in patients with T2DM. While data is less substantial, low-intensity PA such as walking, yoga, tai-chi, qigong, and activity for household tasks have also been shown to be effective methods of reducing hyperglycemia. Additionally, PA to break up sedentary behaviors can also have glycemic benefits. Healthcare providers should encourage patients to increase their PA as a more sustainable means of meeting guideline-directed exercise and activity recommendations. Discussing these changes with patients involves identifying motivators, setting goals, removing barriers, monitoring progress, and understanding the patient’s social support and environment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • exercise
  • physical activity
  • quality of life
  • type 2 diabetes


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