Although moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is mainly recommended for glucose control, light physical activity (LIPA) may also have the potential to induce favorable changes. We investigated sedentary time (SED) substitution with equal time in LIPA and MVPA, and the association with markers of glucose regulation and insulin sensitivity after stratification by waist circumference, fitness and fasting glucose levels.
A total of 654 men and women, 50 to 64 years, from the SCAPIS pilot study were included. Daily SED, LIPA and MVPA were assessed using hip-worn accelerometers. Fasting plasma glucose, insulin and HOMA-IR were determined.
Substituting 30 min of SED with LIPA was significantly associated with 3.0% lower fasting insulin values and 3.1% lower HOMA-IR values, with even lower levels when substituting SED with MVPA. Participants with lower fitness and participants with high fasting glucose levels benefited significantly more from substituting 30 min of SED with LIPA compared with participants with normal to high fitness levels and participants with normal glucose levels, respectively.
LIPA, and not only MVPA, may have beneficial associations with glucose regulation. This is of great clinical and public health importance, not least because it may confer a higher compliance rate to regular PA.