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Paed Diabetes – Reduces amount of insulin needed (improves insulin sensitivity)

Evidence Summary
A high quality systematic review by Aljawarneh et al. (1) looked at the effects of physical activity on physiological and biochemical outcomes in children and adolescents with Type 1 diabetes. The review looked at eight interventional and 19 observational studies. There were a total of 8,263 participants across all studies. The review showed that PA of different intensities improves insulin sensitivity and decreases daily insulin dosage. A review by Galassetti et al. (2) showed Increased physical activity has been demonstrated to improve insulin sensitivity and thus lower the amount of insulin required to maintain a given HbA1c. A review by Borghouts et al (3) stated that Increased physical activity has been demonstrated to improve insulin sensitivity. Martinez Ramonde et al. (4) also found that increased PA levels were associated with lower insulin needs.
Quality of Evidence
Grade A – High quality
Strength of Recommendation
Grade 1- Strong recommendation – Consistent evidence across multiple studies
Physical activity in children and adolescents with T1DM can improve insulin sensitivity

  1. Aljawarneh YM, Wardell DW, Wood GL et al A Systematic Review of Physical Activity and Exercise on Physiological and Biochemical Outcomes in Children and Adolescents With Type 1 Diabetes. Journal of Nursing Scholarship. 2019;51(3):337-345
  2. Galassetti P, Ridell MC. Exercise and type 1 diabetes (T1DM). Compr Physiol 2013;3(3):1309-36
  3. Borghouts LB, Keizer HA. Exercise and insulin sensitivity: A review. Int J Sports Med 2000;21(1):1-12
  4. Martinez Ramonde T, Alonso N, Cordido F et al. Importance of exercise in the control of metabolic and inflammatory parameters at the moment of onset in type 1 diabetic subjects. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2014;122(6):334-40