Introduction: The purpose of this study was to identify key demographic and health factors associated with physical activity (PA) participation in adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Methods: Participants were adults ≥ 18 yr of age living in the province of Alberta, Canada who were previously diagnosed with type 1 (N = 697) or type 2 (N = 1614) diabetes. Individuals were recruited from the Canadian Diabetes Association (Alberta) registry and through a random digit-dialing protocol. Multiple and logistic regression models were employed to identify demographic and health factors related to PA levels, of which many to date have not been examined in this population. Analyses were conducted separately for type 1 and type 2 groups.
Results: Of those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, 63.7 and 71.9%, respectively, were not achieving recommended PA levels. For those with type 1, higher PA levels were associated with a younger age, being single, higher income, lower level of perceived disability, and not smoking. For the type 2 group, a younger age, male gender, higher education, higher income, lower body mass index, and lower level of perceived disability were associated with higher PA levels.
Conclusions: Many of our results for both diabetes types are consistent with findings from other limited research in this domain. Contrary to previous research, however, a significant negative relationship was reported between body mass index and PA for the type 2 group. In addition, perceived disability was negatively associated with PA, which, to date, has not been reported in the literature with type 2 individuals. Research and practice related to physical activity promotion for this population should take into account specific demographic and health factors associated with PA.