Walking, Standing Breaks Improve Cardiometabolic Health in Women

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Women benefit by taking standing or walking breaks during periods of prolonged sitting.
Women benefit by taking standing or walking breaks during periods of prolonged sitting.

(HealthDay News) — Breaking up prolonged sitting with standing or walking improves postprandial markers of cardiometabolic health in overweight/obese, dysglycemic, postmenopausal women, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.

Joseph Henson, from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, and colleagues randomly assigned 22 overweight/obese, dysglycemic, postmenopausal women to prolonged, unbroken sitting (7.5 hours) or prolonged sitting broken up with standing or walking at light intensity (for 5 minutes every 30 minutes); allocation and treatment order were randomized. 

All participants underwent the 7.5-hour sitting protocol the following day.

The researchers found that both standing and walking significantly reduced the glucose incremental area under the curve (AUC) compared with a prolonged bout of sitting (both P<.05). Insulin was also reduced for both activity conditions compared with prolonged sitting (both P<.05). 

Compared with prolonged sitting, both standing and walking attenuated nonesterified fatty acid suppression (both P<.05). No significant effect was seen on triglyceride incremental AUC. The impact on glucose (walking and standing) and insulin (walking only) lasted into the following day.

"This simple, behavioral approach could inform future public health interventions aimed at improving the metabolic profile of postmenopausal, dysglycemic women," the researchers wrote.

Reference

  1. Henson J, Davies MJ, Bodicoat DH, et al. Breaking Up Prolonged Sitting With Standing or Walking Attenuates the Postprandial Metabolic Response in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Acute Study. Diabetes Care. 2015;doi:10.2337/dc15-1240.
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