Background: The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of Beat It-a community-based exercise and lifestyle intervention-in improving anthropometric and physical fitness outcomes in older adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
Methods: Australians with T2DM who were aged 60 years or older were included. These individuals were enrolled in Beat It, a twice-weekly supervised group exercise and education program conducted over 8 weeks. Anthropometric measurements and physical fitness parameters were assessed at baseline and completion. Physical fitness measures were then compared to validated criterion standards of fitness levels required by older adults to remain physically independent into later life.
Results: A total of 588 individuals were included in the study. At baseline, a substantial proportion of the cohort had physical fitness measures that were below the standard for healthy independent living for their gender and age. Significant improvements in waist circumference and physical fitness were observed post program and resulted in an increase in the number of participants who met the standard for healthy independent living.
Conclusions: Participation in Beat It improved important health outcomes in older adults with T2DM. A longer-term follow-up is needed to determine whether these positive changes were maintained beyond the delivery of the program.
Keywords: community based; diabetes; exercise physiologist; fitness; independent living; lifestyle; physical activity.