The Potential Impact of Displacing Sedentary Time in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes

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Abstract

Purpose

Sedentary time, in particular, prolonged unbroken sedentary time, is detrimental to health and displaces time spent in either light or moderate intensity physical activity. This cross-sectional study aimed to identify the potential impact of reallocating time from sedentary behaviors to more active behaviors on measures of body composition and metabolic health in people with type 2 diabetes.

Methods

Participants were 519 adults with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes who had been recruited to the Early Activity in Diabetes (Early ACTID) randomized controlled trial. Waist-worn accelerometers were used to obtain objective measurement of sedentary time, light physical activity (LPA), and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) at baseline alongside clinical measurements and fasting blood samples to determine cholesterol, triglycerides, HOMA-IR, and glucose. Isotemporal substitution modeling was performed to determine the potential impact of reallocating 30 min of sedentary time accumulated in a single bout (long bout) with 30 min of interrupted sedentary time, LPA, or MVPA.

Results

Sedentary time accounted for 65% of the waking day, of which 45% was accumulated in prolonged (≥30 min) bouts. Reallocation of 30 min of long-bout sedentary time with 30 min of short-bout sedentary time was associated with lower body mass index (BMI) (adjusted β, −0.60; 95% confidence interval [CI], −1.00, −0.21) and waist circumference (WC) (adjusted β, −1.16; 95% CI, −2.08, −0.25). Stronger effects were seen for LPA and MVPA. Reallocation of 30 min of long-bout sedentary time with LPA was associated with higher HDL-cholesterol (adjusted β, 0.02; 95% CI, 0.00–0.03 mmol·L−1).

Conclusions

Encouraging adults with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes to break up prolonged periods of sedentary time may be an effective strategy for improving body composition and metabolic health.

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