Diabetes, a study conducted in Melbourne investigated hundreds of days of Fitbit data from before and during the epidemic and discovered that constraints had a significant impact on the physical activity levels of working persons with type 2 diabetes.
According to Christian Brakenridge of the Baker Institute’s Physical Activity Laboratory, the study’s author, this is especially problematic given the critical role physical activity plays in properly controlling the chronic illness.
While many research rely on self-reported data, this study gives conclusive evidence of activity rates over the course of 2447 days. It also emphasises how an easily available gadget like a Fitbit has the potential to assist health gains, particularly in at-risk groups.
Data was collected from 11 study participants (desk workers aged 35–65 years) over a period of several months prior to and during Melbourne’s first lockdown in 2020.
Steps taken decreased by an average of 1,500 per day, but sedentary time increased by 51 minutes per day.
“Over such a long length of time, these behavioural changes would be predicted to have a deleterious influence on glycemic control and diabetes treatment,” Christian adds.
The findings, which were published this week in the open access journal JMIR Diabetes, are consistent with previous research findings that persons who are overweight or obese are more likely to have their physical activity levels negatively impacted by the pandemic.
“While our study focused on a limited group of persons, each participant was thoroughly investigated.” “This is one of the few studies that has tracked physical activity for hundreds of days per person, and it is the first to look at people with diabetes,” Christian says.
“Our data provided us with a thorough overview of activity prior to and during pandemic restrictions, allowing us to evaluate and analyse the impact of lockdowns.”
“The good news is that even minor pauses in sitting time, such as rising up and taking a short walk, have been shown to bring genuine health advantages,” Christian explains.
“Recent study suggests that simply an additional 1000 steps per day can lessen the chance of acquiring diabetes.”
“Staying physically active is also linked to a lower susceptibility to viral infections like COVID-19, greater vaccine efficacy, and a lower risk of hospitalisation with severe COVID-19 outcomes.”
According to Christian, the study also shows how devices such as Fitbits could be employed in clinical care in the future. “Consumer-grade continuous measuring devices have already been used to promote behaviour change and enhance glycemic management, and combining their use with continuous glucose monitors may provide additional benefit,” he says.