Objective: Physical activity is integral to the management of type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, the majority of adults with type 2 diabetes do not regularly engage in physical activity. The purpose of this study was to assess physical activity behavior and its correlates (i.e., physical activity knowledge, barriers, and performance and outcome expectations) in older adults with type 2 diabetes.
Research design and methods: A subgroup of 260 adults with type 2 diabetes was identified from a larger stratified random sample of adults aged > or = 55 years. Participants completed an interviewer-administered survey designed from focus group findings and social learning theory.
Results: The majority of the respondents (54.6%) reported 0 min of weekly physical activity. This was especially true of older female respondents. Performance expectation scores were lower among respondents who were in the oldest age-group, namely, white women. Physical activity knowledge varied by age-group, and barriers to physical activity were prevalent in all groups. The following are significant correlates of reported weekly physical activity: younger age, more education, fewer motivational barriers, and greater perceived health and performance expectations.
Conclusions: Given the importance of physical activity to diabetes management, the low prevalence of physical activity found in this and other studies should raise concerns among clinicians. Future research to identify predictors of physical activity is needed to guide clinicians in the promotion of physical activity.