Promoting a Collaborative Approach With Recreational Therapy to Improve Physical Activity Engagement in Type 2 Diabetes


  • Heather R. Porter
  • John Shank
  • Yoshitaka Iwasaki


Type 2 Diabetes, physical activity, recreational therapy, collaboration, Leisure Meanings Gained and Outcomes Scale, chronic disease management, personal meaning


A collaborative small convenience sample survey of 26 adults with Type 2 Diabetes found increased minutes of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) when the following were experienced within LTPA: a sense of connection/belonging with individuals/groups, a sense of connection/belonging within the self, attributes that come from feeling a sense of connection/belonging with individuals/groups (e.g., feeling loved), a sense of building one’s identity, control/power over one’s self and things, competence/mastery, positive emotions of escalation (e.g., enjoyment), positive emotions of well-being (e.g., feeling self-satisfied), hope/optimism, and a continuation of one’s personal growth and development. Systemically structured leisure counseling, provided by a recreational therapist (RT) early in the disease process, aimed at identifying, exploring, and enhancing the experience of such personal meanings in LTPA may prove helpful in diabetes management. Suggestions for the inclusion of RT as a collaborative member are provided to highlight our possible role in preventative medicine for chronic disease management.