Feasibility and safety of a group physical activity program for youth with type 1 diabetes

Garrett I. Ash, Kevin L. Joiner, Mary Savoye, Julien S. Baker, James Gerosa, Emma Kleck, Neha S. Patel, Lois S. Sadler, Matthew Stults-Kolehmainen, Stuart A. Weinzimer, Margaret Grey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background/Objective: Many adolescents with type 1 diabetes do not achieve 60 minutes of daily moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA). Recognizing the importance of peer influence during adolescence, we evaluated the feasibility and safety of a group MVPA intervention for this population. Methods: Eighteen adolescents with type 1 diabetes (age 14.1 ± 2.3 years, female 67%, black or Latino 67%, median body mass index 92%‘ile, A1c 79.9 ± 25.1 mmol/mol, 9.5 ± 2.3%). Intervention sessions (35 minutes MVPA and 45 minutes discussion) occurred 1×/week for 12 weeks. Feasibility and safety metrics were enrollment, completion of intervention and assessments, cost, and hypoglycemia rates. Participants completed MVPA (accelerometry), and exploratory nutritional, psychosocial, clinical, and fitness variable assessments at baseline, 3 months, and 7 months. Hedges' effect sizes were calculated. Results: Enrollment was 16%, and intervention completion was 56%. Assessment completion at 7 months was 67% for MVPA, nutrition, and fitness, 83% for psychosocial assessments, and 94% for clinical assessments. Cost was $1241 per completing participant. One episode of mild hypoglycemia occurred during the sessions (0.6%). Self-reported daily fruit/vegetable servings (d = −0.72) and diabetes self-management behaviors decreased over time (d = −0.40). In the 10 completers, endurance run score improved (d = 0.49) from low baseline levels, while systolic blood pressure decreased (d = −0.75) and low-density lipoprotein increased (d = 0.49) but stayed within normal ranges. Conclusions: The protocol for the group MVPA intervention was safe and had some feasibility metrics meriting further investigation. MVPA levels and glycemic control remained suboptimal, suggesting the need for more intensive interventions for this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)450-459
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric Diabetes
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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