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Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2019 Aug 8;156:107810. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2019.107810. [Epub ahead of print]

Benefits of physical activity in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes: A systematic review.

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Unité d'Endocrinologie Pédiatrique, Cliniques universitaires Saint Luc, Belgium.
Pôle d'Epidémiologie et Biostatistique, Belgium.
Unité d'Endocrinologie Pédiatrique, Cliniques universitaires Saint Luc, Belgium; Pôle PEDI, Institut de Recherche Expérimentale et Clinique, UCLouvain, Av. Hippocrate 10, B-1200 Brussels, Belgium. Electronic address:



We performed a systematic review of clinical trials investigating the health benefits of physical activity in pediatric patients with type 1 diabetes.


To perform this systematic review, search strategies were created and adapted to four databases. Only randomized controlled trials written in English before 1998 and that answered to the PICOS criteria were included. The PRISMA guidelines were followed to ensure highest scientific rigor within studies.


Seven studies out of 2655 were included in this systematic review according to the inclusion criteria. These studies showed positive gains on global health: blood lipid profile, physical fitness, quality of life and body size and body composition but only one demonstrated a positive effect on glycemic control.


Globally, physical activity exerts a positive impact on metabolic (i.e., decrease in total cholesterol, improvement of physical fitness, etc.) and psychological health in children with type 1 diabetes. Yet variations in study protocols or sample size restrict statistical power to reach the outcome of improving glycemic control in most studies. Here, we address the measured outcomes in individual trials and discuss potential key elements to consider for future clinical trials.


Adolescents; Blood lipid profile; Body composition; Children; Glycemic control; Physical activity; Quality of life; Type 1 diabetes

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