Daily patterns of physical activity by type 2 diabetes definition: Comparing diabetes, prediabetes, and participants with normal glucose levels in NHANES 2003-2006

Jeremy A. Steeves, Rachel A. Murphy, Ciprian M. Crainiceanu, Vadim Zipunnikov, Dane R. Van Domelen, Tamara B. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: Diabetes is associated with low levels of physical activity (PA), but detailed objective information about how PA patterns vary by diabetes definition is lacking. Methods: PA was measured with ActiGraph accelerometers in older (60. +) adults from the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (. n=. 1,043) and analyzed in 2014. Diabetes definition (normal glucose levels, prediabetes, and diabetes) was assessed (fasting glucose, hemoglobin A1C, and self-report). Accelerometer data were used to characterize total activity counts (TAC) per day and hour-by-hour activity counts by diabetes definition. Multiple linear regression models explored the relationship between diabetes definition and TAC. Results: Despite similar patterns of PA, diabetes participants had significantly lower TAC compared to participants with normal glucose levels and prediabetes. Diabetes participants' activity counts per hour declined more rapidly after 12. p.m., with the biggest differences between the groups occurring at 4:00. p.m. Participants with normal glucose levels and prediabetes had similar TAC and daily PA profiles. Conclusion: Our novel methodology provides information about PA patterns by diabetes definition. Significantly lower TAC in the diabetes group, their significant drop in afternoon PA, and the similarity of PA between participants with normal glucose levels and prediabetes provide insight into potential targets for intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-157
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
StatePublished - Feb 21 2015



  • Cross sectional
  • Diabetes
  • PA
  • Patterns
  • Prediabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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