Sit less, stroll more
Regular exercise is good for everyone, especially type 2 diabetics. But simply sitting less may have a big impact on regulating blood sugar, a study published by researchers at Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands suggests. Nineteen study participants – type 2 diabetics with an average age of 63 who did not take insulin – were asked to follow three different physical activity regimes for four days each, separated by 10-day rest periods. In the first regime, they sat for 14 hours, walked for one hour and stood for an hour. In the ‘sit less’ program, sitting time was broken up every 30 minutes with light walking and standing – two hours of the former and three hours of the latter. The third, ‘exercise’ program comprised replacing an hour a day of sitting time with moderate- to vigorous-intensity indoor cycling. The ‘sit less’ and ‘exercise’ programs burned similar amounts of calories and yielded similar improvements in insulin sensitivity and 24-hour blood glucose levels. The ‘sit less’ program, however, generally yielded the best results. The authors would like to see a larger study done, but say findings suggest light-intensity walking and standing more during the day is better than an hour of high-intensity exercise for sugar regulation in type 2 diabetics. Results were published in the journal Diabetologia in December 2016.