Effects of daily mechanical horseback riding on insulin sensitivity and resting metabolism in middle-aged type 2 diabetes mellitus patients

Nagoya J Med Sci. 2010 Aug;72(3-4):129-37.


The present study was conducted to investigate the effect of daily passive exercise using a horseback riding machine (Joba) on insulin sensitivity and resting metabolism in middle-aged, diabetic patients. Participants were 24 type 2 diabetes mellitus patients aged 59 +/- 8 years (mean +/- SD; range from 43 to 75 years of age). Patients were randomly divided into control (normal lifestyle) and Joba exercise groups. The latter group was instructed to perform one 30-min session of Joba riding per day, 7 times per week, for 3 months. Compared with baseline values, serum immunoreactive insulin (IRI) concentrations decreased and HOMA-IR was improved by Joba training. In addition, exercise duration per day significantly correlated (r = -0.65) with changes in serum IRI, and 3-month mechanical horseback riding significantly increased the resting metabolic rate of the patients. These results suggest that daily Joba passive exercise is potentially useful as a means to improve insulin sensitivity and resting metabolism in diabetic patients. The Joba fitness equipment can prove especially useful as an alternative exercise therapy for aged individuals incapable of performing independent exercise or for those who suffer from knee-joint disorders.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Basal Metabolism / physiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / therapy
  • Equine-Assisted Therapy / instrumentation
  • Equine-Assisted Therapy / methods*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome