fitness workplace wellness

Study Connects Fitness, Diabetes Management

Engaging employees in a regularized fitness routine is central to well-run workplace wellness programs. So is helping manage chronic disease.

A new study brings the two together around Type 2 Diabetes.

Among our recent notes on fitness:

It helps the brain. A study published in Nature titled “Higher physical fitness levels are associated with less language decline in healthy ageing” states that “Healthy ageing is associated with decline in cognitive abilities such as language. Aerobic fitness has been shown to ameliorate decline in some cognitive domains, but the potential benefits for language have not been examined.”

Another post focused on weight. A study titled “Low fitness is associated with abdominal adiposity and low-grade inflammation independent of BMI” notes: “To our knowledge, no prior epidemiological study has investigated the BMI-independent association between fitness and abdominal fat, and related this to level of low-grade inflammation… When looking at the association between fitness and level of low-grade inflammation, the findings of this present study is consistent with, and even more prominent than findings in previous studies.”

Health wellbeing also can be tied to economic wellbeing. As the author, Nicolaas P. Pronk of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Public Health, Harvard University, writes: “The prosperity of a society is closely intertwined with the health of its citizens.”

Now, according to MedPage Today, “Patients with type 2 diabetes who partook in 6 weeks of the high-intensity exercise program CrossFit reported weight loss, improved cardiovascular measures, and had significantly increased insulin sensitivity.”

This could provide workplace wellness programs new ways to engage employees in fitness, offering a new format and additional linkage between exercise and chronic disease management.

The study in Experimental Physiology is titled “Functional high intensity exercise training ameliorates insulin resistance and cardiometabolic risk factors in type 2 diabetes.”

The objective: “Functional high intensity training (F‐HIT) is a novel fitness paradigm that integrates simultaneous aerobic and resistance training in sets of constantly varied movements, based on real‐world situational exercises, performed at high intensity in workouts that range from ∼8‐20 min/session. We hypothesized that F‐HIT would be an effective exercise mode for reducing insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes (T2D).”

The authors conclude that the data “suggest that F‐HIT may be an effective exercise mode for managing T2D. The increase in insulin sensitivity addresses a key defect in T2D and is consistent with improvements observed after more traditional aerobic exercise programs in overweight/obese adults with T2D.”