For many years we have known about the benefits of physical activity. These
benefits include prevention of chronic disease and enhancement of quality
of life in the community. Recent research has confirmed that the benefits of physical
activity go far beyond our greatest expectations.
One of the major target areas identified within the in motion
strategy is the Primary Prevention of Diabetes. The goal of the in motion
Primary Prevention of
Diabetes initiative is to facilitate and coordinate the support required for the primary
prevention of Diabetes with a focus on physical activity and healthy eating. Research
has shown that regular physical activity can reduce the risk of developing Type II Diabetes
by as much as 50% (CFLRI, 1999 & Manson et al., 1992). In addition, evidence shows that
it is important to establish healthy lifestyle patterns early on in one’s life
(Kelder et al., 1994).
Why is the prevention of diabetes so important?
As the prevalence rate of diabetes rises, this condition is increasingly being recognized
as a major health issue.
Diabetes is diagnosed in an estimated 60,000 Canadians every year.
(Health Canada, 1999)
The number of people diagnosed with diabetes is expected to grow to 3 million by 2010.
(Calgary Health Region, 2002)
The prevalence of diabetes for Aboriginal people is triple the rate of the general
population. (Diabetes, 2000 & Health Canada, 1999)
The “Darker Side” of Diabetes:
The following can be a result of diabetes: (1Health Canada, 2002)
- reduced life expectancy
- increased stress on individuals and their families
- increases in work and school absences
- possible career disruption
- personal hardship
40% of people with diabetes develop long term complications as such: (2Health Canada, 2002)
- Cardiovascular disease
- lower limb amputations
- kidney disease
- high blood pressure
- nervous system disorders
People who have diabetes, age 35-64 have six times the risk of heart disease and stroke
compared to the rest of the population. (Tudor et al., 2000)
Health Care Costs of Diabetes:
The economic burden of diabetes and its complications is estimated at $9 billion
annually in direct and indirect health care costs including: health care, disability,
lost productivity due to diabetes related illness, and premature death (Diabetes, 2000
& Health Canada, 1999).
Diabetes is the single most common reason for physician visits, use of hospital
outpatient facilities and admissions to hospital (Juvenile Diabetes Research
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