Effects of Breaking Up Sedentary Behavior With Short Bouts of Yoga and Tai-Chi on Glycemia, Concentration, and Well-Being

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Alexander Colvin School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Physiotherapy Department, National Health Service, New Victoria Hospital, Glasgow, United Kingdom

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Lynne Murray School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Physiotherapy Department, National Health Service, Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow, United Kingdom

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Jillian Noble School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, United Kingdom
MSK Physiotherapy Department, National Health Service, South Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

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Sebastien Chastin School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, United Kingdom

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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1421-9348 *
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Background: Investigating the effects of breaking up sedentary behavior with short bouts of Yoga and Tai-Chi on glycemic control, concentration, and well-being in healthy individuals. Methods: In this randomized balanced incomplete block study, 15 adults (age = 26 [2.50] y, 8 females) completed 2 of 3 protocols: uninterrupted sitting (Control), sitting interrupted with 3 minutes of Yoga every 30 minutes, or with 3 minutes of Tai-Chi every 30 minutes. Protocols lasted 7.5 hours and included a standardized diet. Glucose was measured every 30 minutes with a glucometer (Abbott FreeStyle Libre). Concentration and well-being were recorded with self-reported ecological momentary assessment. Area under the curve was calculated for glucose data. Statistical analyses were performed as a hierarchical repeated-measures model. Results: Glucose area under the curve for the Yoga intervention (34.55 [3.12] mmol/L) was significantly lower than the Control (38.14 [3.18] mmol/L; P < .05). There was a trend toward lower glucose in the Tai-Chi group compared with the Control, but no significant differences were found (AUCTai-Chi = 36.64 [3.11] mmol/L; P = .57). Mean concentration in all groups decreased throughout the day, with the largest decrease in the Control. Well-being for the Yoga and Control groups decreased but increased with Tai-Chi. Concentration and well-being responses were not statistically significant between intervention groups. Conclusions: Breaking up sedentary behavior using 3-minute bouts of Yoga significantly lowers blood glucose in healthy individuals without compromising concentration or well-being. Tai-Chi did not provide the same significant effect on glucose levels but allowed better maintenance of concentration and well-being. These interventions provide effective ways to combat the deleterious effects of prolonged sedentary time while maintaining concentration and well-being.

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