Sitting less and moving about
more could be more important than vigorous exercise to reduce your risk of type
Prescribing less sedentary time, rather than more
exercise, could be more important for patients at high risk of type 2 diabetes,
New research led
at the University of Leicester reveals that individuals at high risk of
developing type 2 diabetes would benefit from being told to sit less and move
around more often- rather than simply exercising regularly. The experts suggest
that reducing sitting time by 90 minutes in total per day could lead to
important health benefits.
risk patients are advised to engage in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity
(MVPA) for at least 150 mins per week. But the new study published in Diabetologia (The journal of the
European Association for the Study of Diabetes) suggests that patents should in
fact be advised to reduce their sedentary time (time spent moving very little or
not at all, for example sitting or lying down).The research was led by Joseph
Henson and colleagues from the Diabetes Research Unit, University of Leicester
and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Loughborough Diet,
Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit (BRU), UK.
colleagues analysed patients from two studies: 153 from project STAND
(Sedentary Time and Diabetes study, mean age 33 years, 29% men) and the Walking
Away from Diabetes study (mean age 64 years, 65% men). The team examined the
extent to which sedentary time, breaks in sedentary time, MVPA and total
physical activity were independently associated with cardiometabolic risk
factors in a population with known risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Accelerometers
were used to assess sedentary time, MVPA, and total physical activity. Breaks
in sedentary time were defined as a transition from a sedentary to an
The researchers found that for these patients with known risk factors for type 2 diabetes recruited from primary care, sedentary time was detrimentally associated with 2 h glucose, triacylglycerol and HDL-cholesterol, independent of measured confounders. These results remained significant after further adjustment for MVPA and adiposity.
findings were consistent across groups with diverse age ranges, providing
evidence that the negative consequences of excess sedentary time exist across
young to old adults. Interestingly, sedentary time was shown to have stronger
associations with several important cardiometabolic markers (2 h glucose,
triacylglycerol and HDL-cholesterol) compared with total physical activity and
MVPA, after adjustment for each other and other important confounders.
provide preliminary evidence that sedentary behaviour may be a more effective way
to target the prevention of type 2 diabetes, rather than just solely focusing
on MVPA. Moreover, sedentary time occupies large portions of the day, unlike
MVPA,” says Henson.
He adds that the new data raise questions regarding the possible prescription of optimal daily movement for health. He concludes: “Diabetes and cardiovascular prevention programmes concentrating solely on MVPA may overlook an area that is of fundamental importance to cardiometabolic health. Along with messages related to accumulating at least 150 min/week of MVPA, which form the cornerstone of diabetes prevention programmes, such interventions may be more effective still if individuals are further encouraged to simply sit less and move more, regardless of the intensity level.”
He concludes: “This
approach requires a paradigm shift, so that individuals at high risk of
developing type 2 diabetes think about the balance of sedentary behaviour and
physical activity throughout the day.”
Read the published article: www.diabetologia-journal.org/files/Henson.pdf
Mr Joseph Henson
Department of Cardiovascular Sciences
University of Leicester, Leicester Diabetes Centre and NIHR Leicester Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity BRU, UK.
T: +44 116 258 4436 E: email@example.com
Alternative contact for Mr Henson: Ather Mirza, Director of Press and
Corporate News, University of Leicester, UK T: +44 116 252 3335 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
The research was supported by the NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet Lifestyle and Physical Activity BRU based at the University Hospitals of Leicester, University of Leicester and Loughborough University and the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) based at the University of Leicester. Project STAND was funded by the Medical Research Council and National Prevention Research Initiative funding partners.
This article presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.
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