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Sit Less to Reduce Diabetes Risk

A new study published in Diabetologia suggests that patients with known risk factors for type 2 diabetes could benefit more from reducing sedentary time (like reducing sitting time by one and half hours) than simply exercising regularly.

Patients at risk are presently advised to engage in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) for a minimum of 2.5 hours per week.  However, the study led by Joseph Henson, suggests that patients should in fact be advised to lessen inactivity or lying down or sitting time.

Patients were analyzed from two studies: Project STAND (Sedentary Time and Diabetes), a study that involved about 150 patients, around 30% of which are male with mean age of 33 years, and the Walking Away from Diabetes study that involved 725 patients with mean age of 64 years, 65% male.

The objective of the study was to find out the extent to which certain behaviors were independently associated with cardiometabolic risk factors in a population with known risk factors for type 2 diabetes.  These risk factor included sedentary time, breaks in sedentary time defined as a transition from a sedentary to active state, MVPA, and total physical activity.

The team found that for patients at high risk of type 2 diabetes, sedentary time was shown to have a stronger link with cardiometabolic health versus MVPA and total physical activity.

According to Henson, sedentary behavior may be a more effective way to mitigate risk of diabetes since sedentary time occupies a larger part of the day. He added that aside from the recommended MVPA, adults are further encouraged to reduce sitting time and to move around more often regardless of intensity of work out.

He therefore concludes that adults at high risk of type 2 diabetes should consider balancing sedentary behavior and physical activity throughout the day.


Diabetologia. Sitting less and moving about more could be more important than vigorous exercise to reduce risk of type 2 diabetes. ScienceDaily.


Posted in: Anti-diabetes, Diabetes, News Briefs, Type 2 Diabetes

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