medwireNews: Research suggests that interspersing prolonged sitting with upper body exercise can help people with limited mobility or weight-bearing problems to limit their postprandial glycemic response.
The exercise in the study consisted of 5 minutes of activity using an arm ergometer (ie, an “arm cycling” machine), set at a wattage so the energy expenditure would be equivalent to that of light walking. Participants had attenuated postprandial glycemic responses when they performed this exercise every 30 minutes during 7.5 hours in which they were otherwise sedentary; their glucose incremental area under the curve was 3.1 mmol/L per hour, compared with 7.4 mmol/L per hour if they did not perform the exercises.
The 13 study participants were obese, but did not have type 2 diabetes, although they were at high risk for it. Exercise versus no exercise also improved their insulin responses, at 554 versus 696 mU/L per hour, report Matthew McCarthy (University of Leicester, UK) and co-researchers in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.
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