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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 135192, 7 pages
Research Article

Physical Activity among Veterans and Nonveterans with Diabetes

1Health Services Research and Development Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
2Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
3Department of Health Services, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA

Received 18 February 2012; Accepted 17 May 2012

Academic Editor: Iris Reuter

Copyright © 2012 Erin D. Bouldin and Gayle E. Reiber. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Engaging in regular physical activity (PA), with or without a corresponding decrease in weight, is associated with improved health outcomes. The purpose of this study was to quantify the extent to which PA differed between veterans and nonveterans and to determine how diabetes and age influenced this association. Data from the 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System were used in this study. Respondents were classified as having diabetes if they reported ever being diagnosed with diabetes except during pregnancy. Respondents who reported ever serving on active military duty were classified as veterans. Based on self-report, we calculated the average minutes per week of moderate, vigorous, and total activity. After adjusting for sex, race and ethnicity, household income, education level, body mass index (BMI), and recent health checkup, veteran status was associated with a small but significantly larger amount of average weekly moderate PA (2.2 minutes, P=0.0058) but not average weekly vigorous PA (−0.02 minutes, P=0.98). Diabetes and prediabetes were associated with significantly lower mean levels of both moderate and vigorous intensity PA, as was increasing age. Consistent with prior research, veterans engaged in more PA than nonveterans. The association between diabetes, age, and physical activity did not differ by veteran status.