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Exercise link to better diabetes control

Knowledge about the benefits of regular exercise for diabetes sufferers has been improved following research undertaken by an RMIT University PhD student.

Brett Gordon, who graduated recently, has found that sufferers of Type 2 diabetes could benefit greatly from regular exercise each week, due to the way exercise helps the body's glucose metabolism process.

According to Dr Gordon, all previous evidence had suggested that resistance training could have benefits for glucose metabolism and management of diabetes, but there had been no consensus about how much exercise and how often it was required to be effective.

"The results of my studies identified that a single session of resistance exercise may impair insulin sensitivity," he said.

"This means that resistance exercise needs to be completed at least semi-regularly each week, at least initially, if it is going to be effective."

Dr Gordon intends to continue his research in future, and he hopes his work will also encourage others in the field.

If the minimum amounts of exercise needed to achieve results could be understood, it could improve compliance by patients, lower the number of complications from diabetes, and cut health care costs, Dr Gordon said.

One of the most satisfying aspects of the research was that it had already been cited in international guidelines, proving the importance of publishing quality work.

"It (the research process) has also taught me to question everything and not accept published findings to be unequivocal. It is vital to develop your own opinion."

The process of completing a PhD had been "challenging and difficult", Dr Gordon said, but also very rewarding.

Dr Gordon, originally from Cobram but now a resident of Seymour in regional Victoria, has had little time to savour the pleasure of submitting his PhD thesis. He has been employed already by RMIT in an academic role.

Despite a sense of relief at finishing the doctoral research, Dr Gordon retains his passion about the field.

"Essentially we need to get more people being active to minimise the effect of chronic disease and obesity, and I hope to make a significant contribution to this over a long period of time."

 

For media enquiries: news@rmit.edu.au

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