Despite evidence of the benefits of physical activity in the management of type 2 diabetes, it is poorly addressed in diabetes care. This study aimed to identify the prevalence and correlates of meeting ≥600MET-min/wk. (150 min/wk) of physical activity and sitting time in adults with type 2 diabetes in Oman. Approaches to encourage physical activity in diabetes care were explored.
A cross-sectional study using the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire was conducted in 17 randomly selected primary health centres in Muscat. Clinical data including co-morbidities were extracted from the health information system. Questions on physical activity preferences and approaches were included. Patients were approached if they were ≥18 years, and had been registered in the diabetes clinic for >2 years.
The questionnaire was completed by 305 people (females 57% and males 43%). Mean age (SD) was 57 (10.8) years and mean BMI (SD) was 31.0 (6.0) kg/m2. Duration of diabetes ranged from 2 to 25 (mean 7.6) years. Hypertension (71%) and dyslipidaemia (62%) were common comorbidities. Most (58.4%) had an HbA1c ≥7% indicating poor glycaemic control (55% in males vs 61% in females).
Physical activity recommendations were met by 21.6% of the participants, mainly through leisure activities. Odds of meeting the recommendations were significantly higher in males (OR 4.8, 95% CI 2.5–9.1), individuals ≤57 years (OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.6–5.9), those at active self-reported stages of change for physical activity (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.2–4.1) and those reporting no barriers to performing physical activity (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.4–4.9).
Median (25th, 75th percentiles) sitting time was 705 (600, 780) min/d. Older age (>57 years) was associated with longer sitting time (>705 min/d) (OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.7–4.6).
Preferred methods to support physical activity in routine diabetes care were consultations (38%), structured physical activity sessions (13.4%) and referrals to physical activity facilities (5.6%) delivered by a variety of health care providers.
The results suggest that intervention strategies should take account of gender, age, opportunities within daily life to promote active behaviour and readiness to change. Offering physical activity consultations is of interest to this study population, thus development and evaluation of interventions are warranted.