Sedentary time, breaks in sedentary time and metabolic variables in people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes

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We investigated whether objectively measured sedentary time and interruptions in sedentary time are associated with metabolic factors in people with type 2 diabetes.


We studied 528 adults (30–80 years) with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes, who were participants in a diet and physical activity intervention. Waist circumference (WC), fasting HDL-cholesterol, insulin and glucose levels, HOMA of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and physical activity (accelerometer) were measured at baseline and at 6 months follow-up. Linear regression models were used to investigate cross-sectional and longitudinal associations of accelerometer-derived sedentary time and breaks in sedentary time (BST) with metabolic variables.


In cross-sectional analyses each hour of sedentary time was associated with larger WC (unstandardised regression coefficient [B] [95% CI] 1.89 cm [0.94, 2.83]; p < 0.001), higher insulin (B = 8.22 pmol/l [2.80, 13.65]; p = 0.003) and HOMA-IR (B = 0.42 [0.14, 0.70]; p = 0.004), and lower HDL-cholesterol (B = -0.04 mmol/l [-0.06, -0.01]; p = 0.005). Adjustment for WC attenuated all associations. Each BST was associated with lower WC (B = -0.15 cm [- 0.24, -0.05]; p = 0.003) and there was evidence of a weak linear association with HDL-cholesterol, but no association with insulin levels or HOMA-IR. Volume of sedentary time at baseline predicted HDL-cholesterol (B = -0.05 mmol/l [-0.08, -0.01]; p = 0.007), insulin levels (B = 8.14 pmol/l [0.1.51, 14.78]; p = 0.016) and HOMA-IR (B = 0.49 [0.08, 0.90]; p = 0.020) at 6 months, though not WC. Baseline BST did not substantially predict any metabolic variables at follow-up. No change was seen in sedentary time or BST between baseline and 6 months follow-up.


Higher sedentary time is associated with a poorer metabolic profile in people with type 2 diabetes.

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