The aim of this randomized, 3-period, 3-treatment crossover trial was to examine the acute effects of regularly breaking up seated office work with short bouts of standing or light-intensity walking on postprandial interstitial glucose concentration.
Seventeen middle-aged office workers performed 3 5-hour trial conditions at their workplace in a random order: 1) uninterrupted sitting, 2) sitting interrupted by 2 minutes of standing every 20 minutes, and 3) sitting interrupted by 2 minutes of light-intensity walking every 20 minutes. Participants consumed 2 standardized test drinks at the start of each trial condition and an iPro2 continuous glucose monitoring system (CGMS) recorded average interstitial glucose concentration every 5 minutes for the duration of the study.
The 5-hour interstitial glucose incremental area under the curve (iAUC) was 55.5% lower after sitting interrupted by light-intensity walking compared with after uninterrupted sitting (95% CI, –104.2% to –6.8%). There was also a suggestion of a beneficial effect of regular standing breaks, particularly in overweight men, although they were not as effective as the walking breaks (mean difference [95% CI], –29.6% [–73.9% to 14.7%]).
Regularly breaking up prolonged sitting lowers postprandial glycemia in middle-aged adults without metabolic impairment.
Brocklebank, Page, and Cooper are with the Centre for Exercise, Nutrition, and Health Sciences, University of Bristol School for Policy Studies, Bristol, UK. Andrews is with the Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Science, University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, UK. Falconer and Leary are with the NIHR Bristol Nutrition Biomedical Research Unit in Nutrition, Diet, and Lifestyle, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.