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.