Physical activity correlates among persons with type 2 diabetes in Jamaica

  • Carron D. GordonEmail author
  • Gail A. Nelson
Original Article


Despite the importance of physical activity in the management of diabetes, many persons with diabetes do not meet the recommended levels. This may be influenced by lack of knowledge of the benefits of exercise and common barriers such as lack of time. The purpose of this study was to determine the factors associated with physical activity level in Jamaicans with type 2 diabetes. One hundred and ninety-four persons participated. A demographic questionnaire, a questionnaire to assess knowledge of exercise benefits, the barriers section of the Exercise Benefits and Barriers Questionnaire and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire were administered. The mean age of the sample was 57.5 years. Thirty-eight point seven percent (38.7%) was low active, 33.5% was moderately active and 26% was highly active. Common barriers were the following: perception of exercise as hard work, exercise as tiring and exercise as fatiguing. A greater percentage of those who were low active perceived exercise as tiring compared to those who were highly active (p = 0.004). Younger persons were more active than older persons (p = 0.005), and employed persons were more active than the unemployed (p = 0.000). Knowledge was not significantly related to physical activity level. Physical activity level is low in persons with diabetes in Jamaica. Perception of exercise as hard work, tiring and fatiguing is a common barrier. Older persons and the unemployed are more likely to be inactive. Education and individualized physical activity counselling are necessary to assist with overcoming barriers and increasing physical activity in this population.


Type 2 diabetes Physical activity Barriers Knowledge Jamaica 



The authors thank A. Davis, M. Hall, A. Duncan and M. Brown for their assistance with the data collection.

Author contribution

C.G.—conception and design, literature search, data analysis and interpretation, manuscript preparation, manuscript editing and review, and final approval

G.N.—acquisition of the data, interpretation of the data, manuscript preparation, manuscript editing and review, and final approval

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in the study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the University of the West Indies Ethics Committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Research Society for Study of Diabetes in India 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medical Sciences ComplexUniversity of the West IndiesKingstonJamaica

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