Association between Physical Activity and Health-Related Quality of Life in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes

Can J Diabetes. 2017 Feb;41(1):58-63. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjd.2016.07.004. Epub 2016 Sep 28.


Objectives: To examine the association between meeting physical-activity recommendations and health-related quality of life (HRQL) in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Methods: Data from the Alberta's Caring for Diabetes cohort were used. Self-report questionnaires were mailed to patients with type 2 diabetes who were living in Alberta, Canada. Weekly moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was reported using the Godin Leisure Time Physical Activity Questionnaire, and HRQL was reported using the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey v. 2 (SF-12 v. 2) and the 5-level EuroQol 5-Dimensions (EQ-5D). Based on current guidelines for patients with type 2 diabetes in Canada, participants were grouped according to whether they accrued 150 minutes of MVPA per week. Multivariable linear regression models were used to explore associations between physical activity and HRQL.

Results: The mean age of participants (N=1948) was 64.5±10.8, and 45% were female. Participants reported a mean of 84.1±172.4 minutes of MVPA per week, and 21% (n=416) met recommendations for physical activity. Those who met physical activity recommendations reported higher scores on physical functioning (b=9.58; p<0.001); role-physical (b=8.87; p=0.001); bodily pain (b=5.12; p=0.001); general health (b=6.66; p<0.001); vitality (b=9.05; p<0.001); social functioning (b=3.32; p=0.040); and role-emotional (b=3.08; p=0.010); physical component summary (b=3.31; p<0.001); mental component summary (b=1.43; p=0.001) and EQ-5D-5L index score (b=0.022; p=0.005) compared to those not meeting recommendations.

Conclusions: The majority of the sample did not meet the guidelines for physical activity. Among those who did, a significant positive association was observed with HRQL, particularly physical health.

Keywords: activité physique; diabète de type 2; health-related quality of life; mental health; physical activity; physical health; qualité de vie liée à la santé; sante mentale; sante physique; type 2 diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alberta / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance / methods
  • Quality of Life* / psychology
  • Self Report