Interrupting Prolonged Sitting with Brief Activity Might Improve Glycemic Control


Benefits for Type 2 Diabetes of Interrupting Prolonged Sitting With Brief Bouts of Light Walking or Simple Resistance Activities

OBJECTIVE To determine whether interrupting prolonged sitting with brief bouts of light-intensity walking (LW) or simple resistance activities (SRA) improves postprandial cardiometabolic risk markers in adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D).

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS In a randomized crossover trial, 24 inactive overweight/obese adults with T2D (14 men 62 ± 6 years old) underwent the following 8-h conditions on three separate days (with 6–14 days washout): uninterrupted sitting (control) (SIT), sitting plus 3-min bouts of LW (3.2 km · h−1) every 30 min, and sitting plus 3-min bouts of SRA (half-squats, calf raises, gluteal contractions, and knee raises) every 30 min. Standardized meals were consumed during each condition. Incremental areas under the curve (iAUCs) for glucose, insulin, C-peptide, and triglycerides were compared between conditions.

RESULTS Compared with SIT, both activity-break conditions significantly attenuated iAUCs for glucose (SIT mean 24.2 mmol · h · L−1 [95% CI 20.4–28.0] vs. LW 14.8 [11.0–18.6] and SRA 14.7 [10.9–18.5]), insulin (SIT 3,293 pmol · h · L−1 [2,887–3,700] vs. LW 2,104 [1,696–2,511] and SRA 2,066 [1,660–2,473]), and C-peptide (SIT 15,641 pmol · h · L−1 [14,353–16,929] vs. LW 11,504 [10,209–12,799] and SRA 11,012 [9,723–12,301]) (all P < 0.001). The iAUC for triglycerides was significantly attenuated for SRA (P < 0.001) but not for LW (SIT 4.8 mmol · h · L−1 [3.6–6.0] vs. LW 4.0 [2.8–5.1] and SRA 2.9 [1.7–4.1]).

CONCLUSIONS Interrupting prolonged sitting with brief bouts of LW or SRA attenuates acute postprandial glucose, insulin, C-peptide, and triglyceride responses in adults with T2D. With poor adherence to structured exercise, this approach is potentially beneficial and practical.

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