Brazilian study alerts on risk of diabetes due to confinement

The quarantines imposed by most governments to reduce the spread of Covid-19 can increase the risk of suffering from diabetes .

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Confinement has increased sedentary lifestyle, which has influenced an increase in the number of cases of type II Diabetes. / Photo: Pexels

LatinAmerican Post | Moisés Campos

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Leer en español: Estudio brasileño alerta sobre riesgo de diabetes por confinamiento

The confinement to which most of the world population has been subjected due to the coronavirus, has increased sedentary lifestyle, which has influenced an increase in the number of cases of type II Diabetes and that, even, has increased deaths from this disease, according to the results of a study carried out by the Paulista State University (UNESP) of Brazil .

The data were published by the journal Frontiers in Endocrinology , based on the numbers obtained by scientists from around the world, and which coincide with other research, such as, for example, that carried out by the European University (Metabolic impacts of confinement during the COVID- 19 pandemic) and published in the journal Nutrients , which also demonstrates the association between a sedentary lifestyle and an increased risk of suffering from type II diabetes.

Sedentary during confinement

In the report released by the São Paulo State Research Support Foundation (FAPESP), the coordinator of the study, Emmanuel Gomes Ciolac , warns about the risks of sedentary lifestyle during periods of confinement, since they can increase the cases of diseases metabolic, such as diabetes.

According to the European University report, not only did the cases of diabetes increase during confinement, but also those of muscle atrophy. These alterations cause the natural aging process to accelerate. This wear and tear is associated with abdominal obesity, which is a factor that contributes to the development of insulin resistance and the occurrence of metabolic syndrome, which in turn significantly increases the risk of many chronic diseases.

The current figures that reflect the percentage of people who do not comply with the minimum amount of exercise that is recommended by the WHO, are:

  • People over 40 years of age have an inactivity of 57.3%.
  • 57.7% of people who have a risk of diabetes.

It is estimated that the lack of physical activity during confinement may be responsible for an increase of 9.6% (11.1 million) in the cases of diabetes in the world and that 12.5% (1.7 million ) of the deaths that occur worldwide due to diabetes, are the product of sedentary lifestyle and the decrease in physical activity, in case the pattern of inactivity is sustained over time and the necessary measures are not taken to avoid it, according to the results of the report.

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Increase in Diabetes II Cases

People who suffer from Diabetes are more likely to suffer complications from the coronavirus , in addition to having a higher risk of dying, according to Gomes Ciolac. The results of studies prior to the pandemic had already shown how the absence of physical activity was the cause of the increase in cases of type II diabetes, as well as the increase in complications and deaths associated with the disease.

During confinement, there was a decrease in physical activity, increasing sedentary behavior in people, also accompanied by the acquisition of bad eating habits, which affects the body's metabolism.

People with diabetes are more likely to contract the most severe form of the coronavirus, and if it is not properly controlled, the chances of complications increasing, along with the likelihood of death. .

Exercise as prevention

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that people between the ages of 18 and 64 should do at least 150 minutes of low or medium intensity aerobic exercise, alternated with 75 minutes of high intensity a week.

This practice becomes vital during long confinement, because people tend to alter their habits, becoming more sedentary, reducing their physical activity by 35%, according to data from surveys conducted by 35 different institutions worldwide.

People went from performing routine physical activities, such as walking, to spending more time lying down or sitting, accompanying this behavior with negative changes in their eating habits, consuming less healthy foods.

Confinement should not be taken as an impediment to establish an exercise routine, the WHO recommendations indicate certain guidelines that can be followed:

  • Exercising through online classes, which can be found for free on many websites, with a large number of exercise routines to do at home.
  • When you must be sitting or lying down, get up to do activities such as walking, dancing, or playing with pets.
  • Doing high-intensity household activities, such as cleaning and gardening; walking in or around the house, if the possibility exists, going up and down stairs or doing stretching exercises.
  • Eat a healthy diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, mainly, avoiding as much as possible the consumption of processed foods.

The recommendations of Gomes Ciolac, who is a professor in the Department of Physical Education of UNESP, and its work group, is to perform exercises that use your own body weight, in order to strengthen muscles, such as abdominals, squats and push-ups, in addition to performing aerobic activities close to home, that can be performed safely and without contravening the provisions that have been implemented. And if you want to stay indoors, do rope jumping or stationary jogging.

Physical exercises not only prevent the effects that occur in the body due to sedentary lifestyle and decreased physical activity, but can help alleviate the psychological impact produced by confinement, all this must be accompanied in addition to healthy eating habits . These recommendations should not be applied only in the confinement period, but should be incorporated into daily activity, to prevent the onset of diabetes and other similar diseases.

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