Back to Journals » Clinical Epidemiology » Volume 8

Implementation of interval walking training in patients with type 2 diabetes in Denmark: rationale, design, and baseline characteristics

Authors Ried-Larsen M, Thomsen RW, Berencsi K, Brinkløv C, Brøns C, Staun Valentiner L, Karstoft K, Langberg H, Vaag A, Pedersen BK, Nielsen J

Received 28 September 2015

Accepted for publication 22 December 2015

Published 8 June 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 201—209


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Henrik Toft Sørensen

Mathias Ried-Larsen,1–3 Reimar W Thomsen,2,4 Klara Berencsi,4 Cecilie F Brinkløv,1,5 Charlotte Brøns,1,5 Laura S Valentiner,1,6 Kristian Karstoft,1,3 Henning Langberg,1,6 Allan A Vaag,1,2,5 Bente K Pedersen,1,3 Jens S Nielsen7

1Department of Infectious Diseases, Centre for Physical Activity Research, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, 2The Danish Diabetes Academy, Odense University Hospital, Odense, 3Department of Infectious Diseases, Centre of Inflammation and Metabolism, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, 4Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus Nord, 5Department of Endocrinology (Diabetes and Metabolism), Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, 6CopenRehab, Department of Public Health, Section of Social Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, 7Department of Endocrinology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark

Abstract: Promoting physical activity is a first-line choice of treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, there is a need for more effective tools and technologies to facilitate structured lifestyle interventions and to ensure a better compliance, sustainability, and health benefits of exercise training in patients with T2D. The InterWalk initiative and its innovative application (app) for smartphones described in this study were developed by the Danish Centre for Strategic Research in T2D aiming at implementing, testing, and validating interval walking in patients with T2D in Denmark. The interval walking training approach consists of repetitive 3-minute cycles of slow and fast walking with simultaneous intensity guiding, based on the exercise capacity of the user. The individual intensity during slow and fast walking is determined by a short initial self-conducted and audio-guided fitness test, which combined with automated audio instructions strives to motivate the individual to adjust the intensity to the predetermined individualized walking intensities. The InterWalk app data are collected prospectively from all users and will be linked to the unique Danish nationwide databases and administrative registries, allowing extensive epidemiological studies of exercise in patients with T2D, such as the level of adherence to InterWalk training and long-term effectiveness surveys of important health outcomes, including cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Currently, the InterWalk app has been downloaded by >30,000 persons, and the achieved epidemiological data quality is encouraging. Of the 9,466 persons providing personal information, 80% of the men and 62% women were overweight or obese (body mass index ≥25). The InterWalk project represents a contemporary technology-driven public health approach to monitor real-life exercise adherence and to propagate improved health through exercise intervention in T2D and in the general population.

Keywords: exercise, telemedicine, cell phones

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]