Self-Monitoring Using Continuous Glucose Monitors with Real-Time Feedback Improves Exercise Adherence in Individuals with Impaired Blood Glucose: A Pilot Study

Diabetes Technol Ther. 2016 Mar;18(3):185-93. doi: 10.1089/dia.2015.0285. Epub 2016 Feb 17.


Background: Exercise helps individuals with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes (T2D) manage their blood glucose (BG); however, exercise adherence in this population is dismal. In this pilot study we tested the efficacy of a self-monitoring group-based intervention using continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) at increasing exercise adherence in individuals with impaired BG.

Materials and methods: Thirteen participants with prediabetes or T2D were randomized to an 8-week standard care exercise program (CON condition) (n = 7) or self-monitoring exercise intervention (SM condition) (n = 6). Participants in the SM condition were taught how to self-monitor their exercise and BG, to goal set, and to use CGM to observe how exercise influences BG. We hypothesized that compared with the CON condition, using a real-time CGM would facilitate self-monitoring behavior, resulting in increased exercise adherence.

Results: Repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed significant Condition × Time interactions for self-monitoring (P < 0.01), goal setting (P = 0.01), and self-efficacy to self-monitor (P = 0.01), such that the SM condition showed greater increases in these outcomes immediately after the program and at the 1-month follow-up compared with the CON condition. The SM condition had higher program attendance rates (P = 0.03), and a greater proportion of participants reregistered for additional exercise programs (P = 0.048) compared with the CON condition. Participants in both conditions experienced improvements in health-related quality of life, waist circumference, and fitness (P values <0.05).

Conclusions: These findings provide promising initial support for the use of a real-time CGM to foster self-monitoring and exercise behavior in individuals living with prediabetes or T2D.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • British Columbia
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Exercise*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Feedback, Psychological*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Goals
  • Group Processes
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory*
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Physical Fitness
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prediabetic State / blood
  • Prediabetic State / therapy*
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Efficacy
  • Waist Circumference


  • Blood Glucose