(HealthDay News) – Interrupting long periods of sitting with light- or moderate-intensity activity is associated with significant reductions in postprandial glucose and insulin levels among overweight and obese individuals.

David W. Dunstan, PhD, from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia, and associates conducted a randomized trial to assess the postprandial glucose and insulin levels of overweight/obese adults in three groups: uninterrupted sitting; seated with two-minute bouts of light-intensity walking every 20 minutes; and seated with two-minute bouts of moderate-intensity walking every 20 minutes.

The researchers found that, compared with uninterrupted sitting, the positive incremental area under curves (iAUCs) for glucose were significantly reduced in both the light- and moderate-intensity groups. The iAUCs for insulin were also significantly reduced for both activity conditions, compared with uninterrupted sitting.

“Interrupting sitting time with short bouts of light- or moderate-intensity walking lowers postprandial glucose and insulin levels in overweight/obese adults,” the authors write. “This may improve glucose metabolism and potentially be an important public health and clinical intervention strategy for reducing cardiovascular risk.”

One of the authors received a grant from Coca-Cola.

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