Gender-Related Association Between Physical Activity, Psychological Status in T2D

gender symbols
gender symbols
Sedentary behavior is closely linked to a more articulated pattern of psychological variables, largely influenced by sex-related differences in the individual psychological characteristics.

Researchers conducting a study of patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) have found sex-related differences in the correlation between physical behaviors and psychological state, with female patients being especially prone to decreased self-efficacy and increased depression as a result of increased sedentary time, according to an article published in Acta Diabetologica.

This cross-sectional study included 163 participants with T2D, 66 of whom were female and 97 of whom were male, with a mean age of 62.7 (standard deviation 7.6). Researchers found increased physical activity to be closely associated with higher self-efficacy in male patients and and higher rates of social support in females.

On the other hand, sedentary time correlated significantly with increased depression, anxiety, interference, and lower diabetes self-efficacy in female patients, although in male patients it correlated only with anxiety.

Patients were scored regarding symptoms and psychosocial factors using the Beck Anxiety Inventory, International Physical Activity Questionnaire, Multidimensional Diabetes Questionnaire, and Beck Depression Inventory-II. Questions gauged patients’ perception of severity, interference, positive behavior of a spouse, and misguided support behavior, as well as anxiety and depression symptoms and amounts of physical activity vs sedentary time.

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After multivariable regression analysis, anxiety in males and self-efficacy and depressive symptoms in females and were found to be independent predictors of sedentary time. Covariates included body mass index, age, diabetes duration, hemoglobin A1c, and perceived self-efficacy and interference.

Researchers conclude that “[lower] self-efficacy and higher symptoms of depression were closely associated with increased sedentary time in women, but not in men, with T2D. It is possible that individualized behavioral interventions designed to reduce depressive symptoms and to improve diabetes self-efficacy would ultimately reduce sedentary behaviors, particularly in women with T2D.”


Indelicato L, Dauriz M, Bacchi E, et al. Sex differences in the association of psychological status with measures of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in adults with type 2 diabetes [published online March 26, 2018] Acta Diabetol. doi: 10.1007/s00592-018-1132-0