Take Regular Breaks To Cut Health Risks Of Sitting

Still more evidence that extended bouts of sitting are bad for you: a new study suggests that overweight people who broke up intervals of sitting down with light exercise were far better off when it came to glucose and insulin levels.

Picture by Dave Matos

The study, published in Diabetes Care, compared glucose and insulin levels between three groups of overweights adults, each of him was asked to sit for five hours a day. One group took no exercise, one took regular treadmill breaks at light intensity, and one took regular treadmill breaks at moderate intensity. Both exercising groups sowed better blood glucose and insulin levels than the control group.

As lead researcher associate professor David Dunstan said in the release announcing the study:

This is the first time that we’ve been able to demonstrate in a clinical trial, that breaking up sitting time with frequent activity leads to better blood glucose and insulin responses – that is, the hazards of prolonged sitting can be minimised through having regular breaks. The findings are not confined to people who are overweight and suggest that even people who are not overweight could benefit from breaking up their sitting time

Wise advice. If you want to minimise your sitting time still further, check out our guide to ways to build a standing desk and the benefits of using one.


    Is this even slightly surprising to anyone?

    I appreciate that having data to back up what seems like common sense is generally a good thing, but really.

      I know right: "Exercise is healthier than sitting on your butt."
      No, really? Never would have thunk it.

    Well Jo and Manfred - most office workers are expected to remain sitting most of the day. I always do a lap of the building every hour, but I work a job where I'm permitted to do so. As people are working, they may not consider how sedentry their lives are. It didn't say everyone was sitting and watching TV the whole time.

    Many people don't have the option of a regular wander, so it's valuable to have PROOF that management needs to encourage employees to go for a quick stroll.

    I came for the cat photo. I stayed... well.. for the cat photo

    @Manfred, @Jo - You haven't digested the information correctly (I know 0 imagine that happening on the internets - must be a leap year!). The study shows that you should take several breaks with light exercise, say as opposed to sitting 8 hours straight then thinking a heavy 60 minute gym session will undo the damage.

      Good point Liz - I was just suggesting that perhaps the information "the hazards of prolonged sitting can be minimised through having regular breaks" should be common sense, however proof is always a good thing.

      And Kato if that information was provided somewhere, yes I did miss it. Although, it doesn't change my point that "the hazards of prolonged sitting can be minimised through having regular breaks" should not surprise anyone.

    See this video explaining the importance of interrupting sitting time:

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