Management of daily physical activity and diabetic foot prevention

Piergiorgio Francia, Giulia Iannone, Ferdinando Paternostro, Ugo Santosuosso, Massimo Gulisano


Even if physical activity plays a key role within diabetic foot treatment its use and the results obtained from this treatment seem to be still limited. Nowadays, new and even more advanced technologies for the long term daily physical activity monitoring are available and they are radically changing some aspects of physical activity such as its amount, features and monitoring. In spite of the past, the several electronic devices that are currently available can be integrated into routine care and provide essential information for management to both the healthcare providers and patients. In particular, since the end of the last century, an increasing number of studies have applied the movement monitoring to patients at risk or with history of ulceration. The questionnaires have been progressively replaced with modern technologies such as accelerometers or complex multisensory devices able to objectively measure the physical activity performed. The data collected through the use of such devices can allow a better assessment of patient’s condition and provide useful information for the definition of a more complete treatment protocol. Daily physical activity monitoring devices provide to the Diabetes Units information on the typology, quantity, distribution and intensity of the daily physical activity performed by each patient concurring to the prevention of foot ulcers that represent the most dreadful diabetes complications. The different functions and modes of operation of monitoring devices can be integrated to provide a more comprehensive and intelligent monitoring system that provide valuable information on patients’ ongoing health status and the physical activity performed during daily life. These devices can manage in real time or even in remote the physical activity performed in addition to calculate that to be performed in the following hours. As a result, they contribute to improve patients’ lifestyle and reduce the costs for the treatment of such complications. The aim of this review is to define and emphasize the role of a long term daily physical activity monitoring in the prevention of diabetic foot ulcers.


diabetic foot prevention; daily physical activity; life style; accelerometer; movement monitoring; exercise

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