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More exercise for people with diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases
Publication date: 10 May 2016

Diabetes mellitus type 2 and cardiovascular diseases are two of the most frequently occurring chronic disorders, especially at a later age. It is expected that the number of these chronic disorders will increase in the future. Both diseases can have major consequences for people's health and thereby for their daily functioning and quality of life.

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Reason

Nationwide, approximately 834,000 people are known by their GPs to be suffering from Diabetes Mellitus, wherein 90% of them have type 2 (DM-2). In a decade, this number is expected to increase. For Rotterdam, the figures are estimated to reach 44,000 adult DM-2 patients and 40,000 cardiovascular patients by the year 2030.

The care for patients suffering from DM-2 or patients with (an increased risk of) a cardiovascular disease is one of the main focal points. The monitoring of these patients makes it possible to timely observe and tackle the risk factors, so that complications and the progression of the disease and the related impairments can be avoided as much as possible. Discussion and exerting a positive influence on patients' lifestyle, especially when it comes to exercising, plays a key role here.

Approach towards facilitating exercise in the long term

In daily practice, care providers have found that just providing information and advice to clients with a low exercise level, is not enough if we want patients/ clients to adopt long-term healthy exercise behaviour. It is difficult for the supervision towards long-term healthy exercise behaviour and the use of the available exercise amenities in the city to succeed. Rotterdam partners from the fields of care and welfare have, therefore, focused on a different approach in order to have this group of people take more sports and exercise in the long term.

This approach pays a great deal of attention to behavioural change and self-management, a good collaboration between the professionals working in the fields of care as well as welfare. The research group also devotes time to creating a warm transfer to the regular exercise and sports activities on offer, whilst taking away, as much as possible, the experienced barriers to more exercising. This way, any setbacks can be responded to quickly in order to prevent these clients from relapsing to a lower exercise level.

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