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. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.