Print Edition - 2017-02-02  |  Health and Living

STUDY FINDS

Feb 2, 2017-

Sitting less linked to lower risk of diabetes

People who spend time walking or even just standing instead of sitting down may be at lower risk of diabetes, a UK study suggests. For the study, researchers asked 435 adults at risk for developing diabetes to wear activity monitors around the clock for one week to see how much time they spent sitting, standing and walking. Then they examined lab tests to see how well their bodies processed sugar and insulin.

Findings from this study provide evidence that simply substituting standing for sitting throughout the day may improve markers of type 2 diabetes, said study co-author Dr Joseph Henson, a diabetes researcher at the University of Leicester. “However, stronger associations were observed for stepping, thus highlighting the continued importance of more intense physical activity,” Henson said by email. Study participants were 67 years old on average. Most of them had excess fat around the midsection and were either overweight or obese, and about one third had a family history of diabetes. Each day, participants spent an average of 9.4 hours sitting or lying down during their waking hours. This included a total of about 4.2 hours of brief periods of sitting for no more than a half hour, as well as 5.4 hours of prolonged bouts of sitting that lasted at least 30 minutes.

In addition, participants typically spent an average of 4.5 hours a day standing and 1.7 hours a day walking. People who replaced 30 minutes of prolonged sitting time with shorter bouts of sitting had a four percent reduction in fasting insulin levels, researchers calculated.

Published: 02-02-2017 09:11

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