Exercise and Type 2 Diabetes

The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association: joint position statement

  1. Barry Braun, PHD, FACSM9
  1. 1Human Movement Sciences Department, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia;
  2. 2Departments of Medicine, Cardiac Sciences, and Community Health Sciences, Faculties of Medicine and Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada;
  3. 3Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois;
  4. 4Divisions of General Internal Medicine and Cardiology and Center for Women's Health Research, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado;
  5. 5Department of Kinesiology and Cancer Prevention Research Center, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island;
  6. 6Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland;
  7. 7Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts;
  8. 8Division of Diabetes Translation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia;
  9. 9Department of Kinesiology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts.
  1. Corresponding author: Sheri R. Colberg, scolberg{at}


Although physical activity (PA) is a key element in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes, many with this chronic disease do not become or remain regularly active. High-quality studies establishing the importance of exercise and fitness in diabetes were lacking until recently, but it is now well established that participation in regular PA improves blood glucose control and can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes, along with positively affecting lipids, blood pressure, cardiovascular events, mortality, and quality of life. Structured interventions combining PA and modest weight loss have been shown to lower type 2 diabetes risk by up to 58% in high-risk populations. Most benefits of PA on diabetes management are realized through acute and chronic improvements in insulin action, accomplished with both aerobic and resistance training. The benefits of physical training are discussed, along with recommendations for varying activities, PA-associated blood glucose management, diabetes prevention, gestational diabetes mellitus, and safe and effective practices for PA with diabetes-related complications.


  • This joint position statement is written by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association and was approved by the Executive Committee of the American Diabetes Association in July 2010. This statement is published concurrently in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise and Diabetes Care. Individual name recognition is stated in the acknowledgments at the end of the statement.

  • The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • See accompanying article, p. 2692.

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