Objectives: Exercise training is critical to the prevention, treatment and management of diabetes and prediabetes. The present study was to investigate the association between physical activity and blood glucose, as well as the influence of sex, menopause status, and family history of diabetes.

Methods: Subjects with normal weight (body mass index ≥ 18.5 and < 25) were selected from REACTION study, and divided into inactive (moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity [MVPA] < 30 min/week), low-degree (MVPA ≥ 30 and ≤ 420 min/week), and high-degree (MVPA > 420 min/week) active groups.

Results: A total of 2601 individuals with an average age of 57.85 ± 8.39 years were enrolled. Multivariate ANOVA uncovered that after adjustment for sex and menopause status and first-degree family history of diabetes respectively, fasting plasma glucose (FPG), 2-hour plasma glucose (2hPG), and glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) decreased through inactive, low-degree and high-degree active groups (all P for trend < 0.05). The association of blood glucose indexes with physical activity was independent of this association with sex and menopause status and family history of diabetes, respectively. Multivariate linear regression analyses showed that MVPA was an independent factor associated negatively with FPG (standardized β = -0.057, P = 0.003), 2hPG (standardized β = -0.094, P < 0.001), and HbA1c (standardized β = -0.071, P < 0.001), respectively.

Conclusions: Higher degree of physical activity was associated with lower blood glucose regardless of sex, menopause status, and family history of diabetes. MVPA is a negative factor associated with blood glucose independently. Physical activity with adequate time and intensity is strongly recommended to individuals with susceptibility to diabetes but without overweight/obesity.


X. Hu: None. X. Gu: None.


National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFC1305202); Wenzhou Science & Technology Bureau (Y20170047)

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. More information is available at http://www.diabetesjournals.org/content/license.