Evening chronotypes with Type 2 diabetes (i.e. individuals with Type 2 diabetes who go to bed later than average) report less physical activity than other Type 2 patients, according to a study published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.
The study required participants (all Type 2 patients) to wear accelerometers for 7 days and compared physical activity levels across chronotypes.
When compared to the other groups, individuals in the evening chronotype group reported:
- Higher sedentary time
- Lower levels of light activity
- Lower moderate-to-vigorous physical activity
- Lower mean daily acceleration
“There is a massive need for large-scale interventions to help people with diabetes initiate, maintain and achieve the benefits of an active lifestyle,” lead author, Dr. Joseph Henson of the University of Leicester, explained to Science Daily. “For people who prefer to go to bed later and get up later, this is even more important, with our research showing that night owls exercise 56 per cent less than their early bird counterparts.”
Why It Matters
Physical activity plays a key role in the management of Type 2 diabetes. This study suggests that doctors and patients should be discussing bedtimes as a means for increasing physical activity. When appropriate (which is probably always), patients should be referred to qualified behavior change counselors and health coaches to create sustainable sleep pattern behaviors and other healthy modifications.