Anthropometry, Physical Functioning, and Quality of Life in the Exercising Diabetic Patient


J. Mark Van Ness: 0000-0001-5902-8735

Document Type

Conference Presentation


Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences Department

Conference Title

2018 ACSM National Conference


American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)


Minneapolis, MN

Conference Dates

May 29 - June 2, 2018

Date of Presentation


Journal Publication

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise









Publication Date


First Page



Among U.S. adults, more than 35% are obese and 9% are diagnosed with diabetes. Obesity and diabetes impair daily functioning and associate with poorer subjective quality of life (QOL). Exercise is an effective intervention for weight loss, functional improvement, and amelioration of psychological symptoms; however, the precise characteristics of prescription to optimally enhance QOL in this population are not well defined.

PURPOSE: To evaluate QOL predictors in subjects with type 2 diabetes undergoing structured exercise.

METHODS: 61 subjects with diabetes were randomized into one of two 10-week exercise interventions; 38 subjects completed the program. Group 1 (n=23) participated in organized interval training with professional supervision twice weekly; group 2 (n=15) performed the same supervised interval training but also performed two 60-min unaccompanied walking sessions per week. At baseline and follow-up, demographic, anthropometric, functional, and QOL data were collected. Multiple linear regression determined the effect of exercise, physical functioning, and anthropometric indices on QOL outcomes.

RESULTS: At baseline, subjects were 67.9 ± 9.1 years of age, 42.1% male, and they had a composite QOL score of 58.9 ± 18.1. Older age and three assessments of physical functioning associated with higher baseline QOL; obesity associated with a trend for higher QOL (p=0.054). From baseline to posttest, QOL improved 17.7% (p<0.001). Group assignment was not a significant predictor of this change (p=0.998). Women improved more than men (p=0.031), and improvement in physical function associated with greater improvements in QOL. At the end of the intervention, age (p=0.022) and physical function corresponded to elevated QOL. Group assignment was not a significant predictor (β=9.3; p=0.098). At baseline (p<0.001), change scores (p=0.021), and at follow-up (p<0.001), the six-minute walk was the most pronounced variable of physical functioning to correspond to QOL.

CONCLUSION: Exercise improved QOL for subjects with diabetes. Additional walking didn’t help. Older men and especially women improved more. This may be a consequence of attention, as supervised sessions provided marked improvement. It may be important for exercise aimed at improving psychological wellbeing to include companionship.