December 10, 2013
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Interactive fitness game improved glycemic control in type 2 diabetes

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Participation in a 12-week interactive exercise video game program improved the glycemic control and quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to data.

Stephan Martin, MD, of the West German Centre for Diabetes and Health, and colleagues conducted the randomized controlled trial using Nintendo’s Wii Fit Plus interactive game to assess the weight, blood pressure and glucose levels of patients (aged 50 to 75 years) with type 2 diabetes (n=120) compared with controls (n=100).

“Given the positive attitudes of the participants and the limited restrictions for gaming at home, exercise games may potentially be used in a home setting as a tool to reduce inactive behavior in people with type 2 diabetes,” Martin said in a press release.

Patients in the intervention group demonstrated significant improvements in HbA1c levels (from 7.1% to 6.8%; P=.0002) compared with the control group (from 6.8% to 6.7%). In addition, there were significant reductions in fasting blood glucose (from 135.8 mg/dL to 126.6 mg/dL; P=.04), weight (from 97.6 kg to 96.3 kg; P<.001) and BMI (from 34.1 to 33.5; P<.001), according to data.

Patients in the intervention group also showed significantly improved measures of well-being (P<.001). This increased during the 12-week intervention by 8.6% (P<.001) in the intervention group and 8.1% in the control group (P=.004), researchers wrote. Quality of life increased by 2.4% in the intervention group (P=.03) compared with the control group (P=.05).

“In the future, exercise games should be specially developed for this group of patients, glucometabolic control should be optimized and, in order to increase adherence, online transfer of performed exercises, as well as telediabetological coaching, should be included in the treatment program,” the researchers wrote.

Disclosure: Kempf and Martin report research grants from Novartis Pharma GmbH.