Postprandial Metabolic Effects of Accelerometer Measured Spontaneous Low-Level Activity

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Interrupting sedentary time induces improvements in glucose metabolism; however, it is unclear how much activity is required to reduce the negative effects of prolonged sitting.


Sixty-six participants sat continuously for 9 hours except for required bathroom breaks. Participants were fed meal replacement beverages at 60, 240 and 420 min. Blood samples were obtained hourly for 9 hours, with additional samples collected 30 and 45 min after each feeding. Responses were calculated as incremental area under the curve (iAUC) for plasma glucose, insulin and triglyceride. Participants wore a triaxial accelerometer and a heart rate monitor. Energy expenditure was estimated using indirect calorimetry.


After controlling for age, sex and BMI, every 100 count increase in accelerometer derived total movement was associated with a 0.06 mmol·L-1·9 hours decrease in glucose iAUC (95% CI 0.004–0.1; P = .035), but not associated with changes in insulin or triglyceride iAUC. Every 1 bpm increase in mean heart rate was associated with a 0.76 mmol·L-1·9 hours increase in triglyceride iAUC (95% CI 0.13–1.38).


Accelerometer measured movement during periods of prolonged sitting can result in minor improvements in postprandial glucose metabolism, but not lipid metabolism.

Peddie ( and Perry are with the Dept of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. Cameron is with the Dept of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. Rehrer is with the School of Physical Education, Sport, and Exercise Sciences, University of Otago, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand.

Journal of Physical Activity and Health