(HealthDay News) — Interval walking is superior to continuous walking for improving glycemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes, according to research published online Aug. 4 in Diabetologia.

Kristian Karstoft, of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues randomly assigned individuals with type 2 diabetes, who were not receiving exogenous insulin treatment, to an interval walking training (IWT) group (12 participants), an energy expenditure-matched continuous walking training (CWT) group (12 participants), or a control group (CON; eight participants).

The researchers only observed improved glycemic control in the IWT group, with no changes noted in the CWT or CON group. The outcome in the IWT group was consistent with increases in insulin sensitivity index (49.8 ± 14.6%; P<0.001), peripheral glucose disposal (14.5 ± 4.9%; P<0.05), and disposition index (66.2 ± 21.8%; P<0.001). Improved insulin signaling in skeletal muscle via increased insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of AS160 (29.0 ± 10.8%; P<0.05) was observed only with IWT.

“These results suggest that training with alternating intensity, and not just training volume and mean intensity, is a key determinant of changes in whole body glucose disposal in individuals with type 2 diabetes,” the authors write.

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