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Physical activity and sedentary behaviour in Scottish youth with type 1 diabetes

MacMillan, Freya and Kirk, Alison and Mutrie, Nanette and Robertson, Kenneth (2014) Physical activity and sedentary behaviour in Scottish youth with type 1 diabetes. Practical Diabetes, 31 (6). 228–233c. ISSN 2047-2897

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The purpose of this study was to objectively measure physical activity and sedentary behaviour, across week and weekend days, in Scottish children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus. Forty patients aged 7-9 years (n=20) or 12-14 years (n=20) wore accelerometers for seven days. Validated cut-points categorised sedentary behaviour, <100cpm, and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), ≥3200cpm. Differences in behaviour based on age, gender, and diabetes treatment therapy, and patterns in behaviour were explored. The average sedentary time was 10.2±1.7 hours/day and MVPA was 43.2±23.8 minutes/day. Two participants achieved 60 minutes MVPA on each accelerometer wear day and 19/40 did not achieve 60 minutes of MVPA on any day. Adolescents (11.5±1.2 hours) were more sedentary than younger children (8.9±1.0 hours), (Cohen's D, [d] = 2.36, p<0.001). MVPA and sedentary behaviour were similar for insulin injection and pump users. MVPA was lower on Saturdays (32.3±27.7 minutes, d=0.56) and Sundays (34.5±33.7 minutes, d=0.40) than weekdays (44.1±14.2 minutes), p<0.05. It was concluded that physical activity was below the recommendations for health and sedentary behaviour was high, confirming the need for intervention in youth with type 1 diabetes. Particular focus should be made to: minimise sedentary behaviour in adolescents; increase MVPA in adolescent girls; and increase MVPA in children and adolescents at weekends.