These two daily habits can reduce diabetes risk in older people

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In a new study, researchers found that moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and less sedentary time improve blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in older adults.

Based on the results, it is important to encourage older adults to avoid long sitting time and increase physical activity to improve their metabolism.

The research was conducted by a team at the University of Oulu and elsewhere in Finland.

The study involved a total of 660 residents born in 1945 and between the ages of 67 and 69.

The people were divided into the following four profiles based on the amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and sedentary time: “couch potatoes,” “light movers,” “sedentary actives” and “actives.”

The team found that “active” older adults had a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes and prediabetes than older adults in the ‘couch potatoes’ profile, one in two of whom were found to have a glucose metabolism disorder.

The blood glucose and insulin concentrations in the ‘active’ profile were lower throughout the glucose tolerance test compared to those in the less physically active groups.

Older adults in the ‘active’ profile had a better glucose tolerance and muscle insulin sensitivity than those in the ‘couch potatoes’ profile, both clear signs of a reduced risk of diabetes.

The risk of glucose metabolism disorders increases significantly in older age, making it essential to find ways to prevent diabetes in older adults.

Based on this study, an active lifestyle, including moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and limited sedentary time, also promotes older adults’ blood-sugar metabolism and can play a significant role in preventing diabetes in older people.

The team says older adults with long-term illnesses or functional limitations, who may find it impossible to achieve the recommended level of physical activity, should spend less time sitting down and more pottering about every day to improve blood sugar levels.

One author of the study is researcher Miia Länsitie.

The study is published in Translational Sports Medicine.

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