Introduction This study aimed to describe objectively measured physical activity patterns, including daily activity according to day type (weekdays and weekend days) and the four seasons, frequency, distribution, and timing of engagement in activity during the day in individuals with diabetes and prediabetes and compared with individuals with no diabetes. Research design and methods This cross-sectional study included data from the Danish household-based, mixed rural-provincial population study, The Lolland-Falster Health Study from 2016 to 2020. Participants were categorized into diabetes, prediabetes, and no diabetes based on their glycated hemoglobin level and self-reported use of diabetes medication. Outcome was physical activity in terms of intensity (time spent in sedentary, light, moderate, vigorous, and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) intensities), adherence to recommendations, frequency and distribution of highly inactive days (<5 min MVPA/day), and timing of engagement in activity assessed with a lower-back worn accelerometer.Results Among 3157 participants, 181 (5.7 %) had diabetes and 568 (18.0 %) had prediabetes. Of participants with diabetes, 63.2% did not adhere to the WHO recommendations of weekly MVPA, while numbers of participants with prediabetes and participants with no diabetes were 59.5% and 49.6%, respectively. Around a third of participants with diabetes were highly inactive daily (<5 min MVPA/day) and had >2 consecutive days of inactivity during a 7-days period. Mean time spent physically active at any intensity (light, moderate, and vigorous) during a day was lower among participants with diabetes compared with participants with no diabetes and particularly from 12:00 to 15:00 (mean difference of −6.3 min MVPA (95% CI −10.2 to −2.4)). Following adjustments, significant differences in physical activity persisted between diabetes versus no diabetes, but between participants with prediabetes versus no diabetes, results were non-significant after adjusting for body mass index. Conclusions Inactivity was highly prevalent among individuals with diabetes and prediabetes, and distinct daily activity patterns surfaced when comparing these groups with those having no diabetes. This highlights a need to optimize current diabetes treatment and prevention to accommodate the large differences in activity engagement. Data are available upon reasonable request. All data used for this study were derived from the Lolland-Falster Health Study(LOFUS). Research groups can apply to the LOFUS steering group for access to use LOFUS data. Each project must adhere to the rules and regulations on research ethics and data protection.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere003493
JournalBMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care
Issue number5
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 12. Sept 2023


  • diabetes mellitus, type 2
  • epidemiology
  • exercise
  • prediabetic state
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology
  • Exercise
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Prediabetic State/epidemiology


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