Why 40% of Florida Should Read This Report Card.

Did You know? 9.8% of Florida’s Adults Have Been Diagnosed With Diabetes, While An Additional 30% (CDC Estimate) Are Prediabetic1

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 40% of the entire US population should be paying close attention, as these are people who have either been diagnosed with diabetes or who are prediabetic. having diabetes puts an individual at greater risk for heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, amputations of the legs and feet, and early death. In addition, diabetes is associated with elevated risk for cancer, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.

In fact, the public health threat of rising cases of diabetes, along with alarming increases related medical costs, have been serious enough to move the US Congress to promote research and funding under the Diabetes Care Act. The act requires a Diabetes Report Card every 2 years. The Report Card reviews national and state trends for diagnosis, treatment, and preventative care practices.

In Florida, the percentage of adults diagnosed with diabetes has increased from 9.3% to 9.8% in the two-year period from 2017 to 2019. Some other alarming statistics from the latest annual CDC diabetes data (2013) show 5,600 lower extremity amputations, 6,947 years of life lost, and total medical costs of $26.2 BILLION in Florida! 2

Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES)

Picture of woman exercising at home with the word DIABETES creatively imposed over her.

Are You Or Someone You Know One of the 40% of Floridians
With Diabetes or Prediabetes? If so, research shows that the right diet combined with safe exercise can reduce diabetic health risks by 50% or more.

Based on the data alone, it’s highly likely that you or someone you know is among the 40% classified as diabetic or prediabetic. Most physicians and diabetes educators agree that the single most important step in preventing or managing diabetes is to address a weight problem with the right diet and exercise program.

So what can physical therapy do for you? Research has shown that exercise increases glycemic control. A recent study of nineteen individuals without amputations, and over forty years of age, showed that standing and ambulating for 4.7 hours a day instead of continuous sitting, decreased 24 hour glucose levels, and increased insulin sensitivity in individuals diagnosed with type two diabetes who were not taking insulin. The study compared sitting and cycling, formal exercise, and standing and ambulating to determine which type of exercise had the greatest effect in improving blood glucose levels and insulin sensitivity for diabetic management. Although improvements were found after every trial of exercise, the most gain was found with break sitting, a combination of sitting, standing and light intensity walking throughout the day (Duvivier, Schaper, Hesselink, van Kan, Stienen, et al., 2017). With break sitting, physical therapists can increase an individuals standing and walking endurance as well as functional lower extremity strength and mobility. Additionally, break sitting can reduce blood glucose levels to control hyperglycemia for normalization of wound healing (Sethi, Marks, Guerra, Friedman, & Jacovino, 2016)


Healthy weight loss can be hard without the right support, and even harder if you’re suffering from pain. Clinical experience shows that pain is the #1 reason why patients avoid prescribed exercise. For example, if you suffer from diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), the pain and loss of feeling in your feet can discourage movement. In regards to pain, physical therapists are uniquely trained to help develop an exercise plan for increasing movement and mobility, decreasing pain, as well as decreasing your risk of falling to get you moving again.

What’s Inside Your Physical Therapist’s Head Can Speed Weight Loss

Physical therapists see hundreds of individauls with a wide range of co-morbidities, including individauls with diabetes, and individuals struggling with their weight who are considered either overweight or obese. Each patient has unique challenges to overcome whether it be foot, ankle, knee, hip, back, neck, or some other type of pain. Inside your physical therapist’s brain is a world of expertise and experience to help people in pain adapt exercises to produce a desired training effect, SAFELY.

Want to learn more about how your physical therapist can help get you started safely with exercise, even if you have pain? Schedule your initial assessment today.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes Report Card 2019. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2020


Additional Sources Used:

Duvivier, B. M., F., M., Schaper, N. C., Hesselink, M. K., C., van Kan, L., Stienen, N.. . . M. (2017).

Breaking sitting with light activities vs structured exercise: A randomised crossover study demonstrating benefits for glycaemic control and insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes. Diabetologia, 60(3), 490-498.

Sethi, S., M.D., Marks MD, J., Guerra, L., M.D., Friedman, A., PhD., & Jacovino, C., M.D. (2016).

Identifying barrier and using novel techniques to improve management of uncontrolled diabetes: Team dm study. Endocrine Practice, 22, 332. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.fgcu.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.fgcu.edu/docview/1802585361?accountid=10919