Associations Between Device-Measured Physical Activity and Glycemic Control and Variability Indices Under Free-Living Conditions

Douae El Fatouhi, Harris Héritier*, Chloé Allémann, Laurent Malisoux, Nasser Laouali, Jean Pierre Riveline, Marcel Salathé, Guy Fagherazzi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Disturbances of glycemic control and large glycemic variability have been associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the general population as well as complications in people with diabetes. Long-term health benefits of physical activity are well documented but less is known about the timing of potential short-term effects on glycemic control and variability in free-living conditions. Materials and Methods: We analyzed data from 85 participants without diabetes from the Food & You digital cohort. During a 2-week follow-up, device-based daily step count was studied in relationship to glycemic control and variability indices using generalized estimating equations. Glycemic indices, evaluated using flash glucose monitoring devices (FreeStyle Libre), included minimum, maximum, mean, standard deviation, and coefficient of variation of daily glucose values, the glucose management indicator, and the approximate area under the sensor glucose curve. Results: We observed that every 1000 steps/day increase in daily step count was associated with a 0.3588 mg/dL (95% confidence interval [CI]: -0.6931 to -0.0245), a 0.0917 mg/dL (95% CI: -0.1793 to -0.0042), and a 0.0022% (95% CI: -0.0043 to -0.0001) decrease in the maximum glucose values, mean glucose, and in the glucose management indicator of the following day, respectively. We did not find any association between daily step count and glycemic indices from the same day. Conclusions: Increasing physical activity level was linked to blunted glycemic excursions during the next day. Because health-related benefits of physical activity can be long to observe, such short-term physiological benefits could serve as personalized feedback to motivate individuals to engage in healthy behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-177
Number of pages11
JournalDiabetes Technology and Therapeutics
Issue number3
Early online date14 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022
EventInternational Conference on Ambulatory Monitoring of Physical Activity and Movement (ICAMPAM), virtual conference -
Duration: 22 Jun 202124 Jun 2021


  • Continuous glucose monitoring
  • Physical activity
  • Step count
  • Wearable activity trackers
  • Free-living
  • Digital health


Dive into the research topics of 'Associations Between Device-Measured Physical Activity and Glycemic Control and Variability Indices Under Free-Living Conditions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this