New home therapy to help people with type 2 diabetes live a more active life  

Professor Michelle Keske is exploring innovative ways to improve exercise capacity for people with type 2 diabetes. 

Her research has shown that around one-third of people with type 2 diabetes have poor or very poor exercise capacity. Intolerance to exercise can cause or worsen various problems such as fatigue, pain and breathlessness, which in turn reduces quality of life. It can also make it more difficult to manage blood glucose levels.  

For this Diabetes Australia funded project, Professor Keske is investigating the use of whole-body vibration as a treatment which ‘mimics’ traditional exercise. The platform works by generating vibrations into leg muscles. 

“We have shown that a vibrating platform prompts a response in the body similar to traditional exercise by increasing capillary blood flow (the smallest blood vessels in our body) in leg muscles of healthy people,” Professor Keske said.  

“Now we want to see if increasing leg muscle capillary blood flow using these platforms four times a week over three months can improve exercise capacity and blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.”  

For the trial, participants have been provided with a commercially available vibration platform to use at home. 

Professor Keske said if the project proved successful, it could provide an accessible therapy for those who suffer with exercise intolerance. 

“Exercise training is often difficult for many people with type 2 diabetes, especially if they have poor mobility or are house-bound,” she said. 

“We’re hoping that whole body vibration therapy can ultimately help more people with type 2 diabetes move towards a more active lifestyle.”