The American Diabetes Association has issued new recommendations which will hopefully help to improve the health and the quality of life for everyone with any kind of diabetes.

The new recommendations include suggestions of moderate to intense exercise that can be done alongside lighter forms of physical activity to break up daily sitting time.

The guidelines were published in Diabetes Care, and were prompted by the fact that 65 per cent of the average American’s day is spent sitting down or otherwise not doing any physical activity.

A lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle have a huge impact on health, complications, diabetes management, and the likelihood of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes,

Physical activity and exercise can help to protect people from heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes by up to 20 per cent on average.

The statement classes physical activity as any movement that increases energy expenditure, whereas exercise is classed as structured, planned physical activity.

It has been shown that prolonged sitting has a negative impact on a person’s glucose metabolism. However, breaking up long periods of inactivity can significantly reduce both glucose and insulin levels.

The ADA therefore has recommended three or more minutes of light activity, including activities like walking, leg extensions or arm stretches, every 30 minutes. This is an update on previous recommendations which suggested these kinds of exercises should be performed every 90 minutes.

Of course, this light exercise should be in addition to regular, structured exercise as described in the guidelines, as well as ensuring that blood glucose levels are maintained and in a healthy range, while being wary of experiencing hypos.

Furthermore, clinicians are expected to help promote behavior change when talking to patients in an attempt to get them to move more and become less sedentary.