Here's some sensible advice about pump sites from In the abdominal area, the infusion set can be placed anywhere from just below the rib cage to just above the pubic area, to within two finger widths of the belly button extending to the sides, basically anywhere you can "pinch an inch." In the buttocks, the area near the pocket line works well because you do not sit or sleep on it. It is an excellent location for people who are very active or who have low body fat. The front and sides of the thighs work well for those who do not wear tight pants. The outer side of the biceps is generally preferred for the arms. This area is difficult to use if two hands are required to insert the set though. Avoid areas with scar tissue, bruising, high activity, over the bone, tattoos or body piercing.

Infusion sites are rotated to prevent scarring, which can interfere with insulin absorption. Four or more infusion sites are preferred for rotation purposes. Sites can be rotated by area, i.e., right upper quadrant, right lower quadrant, left lower quadrant, left upper quadrant. Site rotation can also be done in small steps, i.e., move the new site about 2 inches across the abdomen from the last one.

A convenient way to remember your rotation schedule is to pick two days of the week to change your infusion site and always use these two days. For instance, always change on Sundays and Wednesdays.

Sheri Colberg, PhD, is an exercise physiologist and professor at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, as well as adjunct professor of internal medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Having earned a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, she continues to conduct extensive clinical research in diabetes, exercise, aging, and disease prevention with funding from the American Diabetes Association and others. She is the author of eight books, including The Science of Staying Young, and of over 175 research and educational articles. In addition, she has more than 40 years' worth of experience as a (type 1) diabetic exerciser and person living well with diabetes. More information about her books, articles, and more is available at