Aerobic endurance exercise has been the traditional exercise prescription for those with type-II diabetes, but it has been shown that combining this with resistance training gives added benefit in relation to positive physiological measures (Yavari et al., 2012). Current exercise recommendations for adults in the UK advocate doing aerobic exercise at a moderate intensity for 30 minutes on minimally 5 days (but preferably most days) of the week. This should be supplemented with strength-based exercise for the large muscle groups on at least two days of the week (NHS, 2015).
However, the same health benefits can be derived by accumulating the moderate aerobic activity in 10 minute bouts. While an alternative adult exercise prescription of 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity (coupled with two days of strength training) also exists, the presumed low levels of fitness in people with type-II diabetes has meant that it is only in recent years that higher intensity exercise prescriptions have been tested in this population (Albright et al., 2000). While the generalisability of the outcomes of these studies are often hampered by small sample sizes the emerging trend is of the same positive physiological changes witnessed with moderate intensity interventions, but with the additional benefit of a lower volume of time spent exercising.
Increased adherence to more vigorous forms of exercise employed within short term projects are noted when these are accumulated as a series of short bouts (Andersen, 1999). However, little empirical evidence exists of long term adherence to high intensity exercise protocols in contrast with that available for lower intensity exercise regimes.