Inactivity And Diabetes: A Dangerous Pair

Inactivity and Diabetes in Seniors

Does the importance of being active change as you age?

Apparently. At least when it comes to prediabetic overweight adults between the ages of 65 to 73.

senior man keeping active and looking into binoculars in nature

That’s the figures a group of researchers, led by Chris McGlory, studied. They asked 12 men and 10 women to reduce their number of steps for two weeks and keep it below 2,000 steps a day. Then they had 2 weeks of recovery.

Here’s what they found:

“2 wk [weeks] of SR [step reduction] leads to lowered rates of muscle protein synthesis and a worsening of glycemic control that unlike younger adults is not recovered during return to normal activity in overweight, prediabetic elderly humans.”

In other words, inactivity can be very dangerous for older adults who are prediabetic and overweight. Walking less than 2,000 steps for 2 weeks raises the risk of diabetes and returning to regular walking rates for the same amount of time doesn’t reduce it.

Although, as a child, 2 minus 2 equals 0, with age that may no longer be the case.

Prediabetes in Delmarva

Prediabetes is, unfortunately, all too common in Delmarva.

According to, “One in three Delawareans has higher-than-normal blood sugar levels because they can’t efficiently produce and use insulin.” Diabetes also costs Delaware $1.1 billion (yes with a ‘b’) a year.

Now What?

The moral is pretty simple: keep active.

In the words of the researchers:

“Our findings are highly relevant and suggest that in prediabetic older adults to recover metabolic health and prevent further declines due to periods of inactivity proactive strategies such as prescribed activity/exercise and/or pharmaceutical intervention may be warranted.”

So, here’s just one more reason to start exercising, if you haven’t yet.

Do you suffer from prediabetes?

Are you active?

Please share in the comments below.



Delmar Nursing and Rehabilitation does not take any responsibility for this post’s content. Any action you take based on its information is strictly at your own risk. You should always speak to your doctor regarding medical information and your health.

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