Improving patients' adherence to physical activity in diabetes mellitus: a review

Diabetes Metab J. 2012 Feb;36(1):1-5. doi: 10.4093/dmj.2012.36.1.1. Epub 2012 Feb 17.


Regular physical activity (PA) is a key element in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Participation in regular PA improves blood glucose control and can prevent or delay T2DM and its complications, along with positively affecting lipids, blood pressure, cardiovascular events, mortality, and quality of life. However, most people with T2DM are not active and show poor adherence. This paper reviews the possible barriers to PA and strategies to improve the adherence to PA. Based on the currently available literature, it is concluded that self-efficacy and social support from family, friends, and health care providers play the important role in adoption and maintenance of regular PA. Here we also highlight some new modern and innovative interventions that facilitate exercise participation and improve the adherence.

Keywords: Adherence; Diabetes mellitus; Education; Motor activity; Self efficacy; Social support.