Taking Breaks From Sitting Can Improve Your Blood Sugar
Researchers at University of Leicester in the U.K. have some advice for those concerned about their blood sugar – stand up! (And walk a little while you're at it.)
Their study found that standing up or walking every now and then improved blood sugar, or glucose, levels among postmenopausal women at risk for diabetes, compared to those who sat for 7.5 hours.
The team studied 22 overweight postmenopausal women at risk for diabetes. The women were randomly assigned to follow two of the routines on separate days, at least a week apart. Either they would sit for 7.5 hours, or they would stand up for five minutes every half hour, or they'd walk for five minutes every half hour.
The women ate a standardized breakfast and lunch, and the researchers then took blood samples throughout the day. Glucose levels spike after eating, and in those with impaired glucose regulation, it’s difficult to bring the levels down quickly.
But standing and walking made a big difference. Compared to those who sat for the entire 7.5 hours, those who stood every half hour had a 34 percent smaller increase in glucose levels after eating. Spikes in glucose were reduced by 28 percent among those who walked every half hour.
Increased concentrations of naturally-produced insulin, which is a sign of diabetes, were also smaller among women who stood or walked every half hour.
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