Intermittent Standing but not a Moderate Exercise Bout Reduces Postprandial Glycemia

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This study aimed to determine whether minimum recommended moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA; 30-min bout of continuous moderate-intensity walking) is sufficient to counteract the detrimental effects of prolonged sitting on postprandial metabolism and if there are any effects of breaking up sitting with intermittent standing when achieving minimum recommended MVPA.


Fourteen (n = 14) physically inactive healthy adult males underwent four intrahospital 27-h interventions: 9-h continuous sitting (SIT), 15-min standing bouts every 30 min during the 9-h sitting (STAND), 30-min moderate-intensity walking bout followed by 8.5 h of sitting (MVPA), and 30-min moderate-intensity walking bout followed by 15-min standing bouts every 30 min during 8.5 h of sitting (MVPA + STAND). Three standardized meals on intervention day (day 1) and breakfast the following day (day 2) were served.


Cumulative postprandial glucose response (incremental area under the curve) was lower in STAND versus SIT (↓27%, P = 0.04, effect size [ES] = −0.7) because of decreases in postprandial glucose after breakfast on day 1 (STAND vs SIT: ↓40%, P = 0.01, ES = −0.7) and day 2 (STAND vs SIT: ↓33%, P = 0.06, ES = −0.6). STAND did not affect postprandial insulin responses. Cumulative postprandial insulin response was lower in MVPA versus SIT (↓18%, P = 0.03, ES = −0.3) and MVPA + STAND versus SIT (↓26%, P = 0.02, ES = −0.4) because of expected exercise-induced decreases in postprandial insulin after breakfast on day 1 only (MVPA vs SIT: ↓36%, P = 0.003, ES = −0.7; MVPA + STAND vs SIT: ↓43%, P = 0.0001, ES = −0.8).


Breaking up prolonged sitting with nonambulatory standing across 9 h acutely reduced postprandial glycemic response during and the day after the intervention independent of insulin levels, whereas a 30-min MVPA bout did not.

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