Standing Up From Desks Helps Avoid DiabetesWednesday, February 29, 2012
Taking frequent breaks from sitting to stand up and move around can significantly lower the risk of diabetes, according to new Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute research. The researchers found that just two minutes of light exercise lowered glucose and insulin levels by 30 percent. During the study, researchers had people who sit for long periods take breaks every 20 minutes for two-minutes of activity and found that the activity breaks substantially improved the participants` response to a glucose challenge. They also compared light activity to moderate activity, for example taking a short stroll to taking a brisk walk, and found that strolling was as effective at lowering glucose and insulin levels as the brisk walk. The findings are important for many people who are sitting for long periods in an office, suggesting that taking a break every 20 or 30 minutes to walk around the office is beneficial. "What this study is actually showing is that if people regularly break it up they`re actually producing a more favorable blood glucose profile," says lead researcher David Dunstan. "So throughout the day if you get up and move about and contract those muscles you`re going to help you body clear that glucose." The researchers note that many occupational health and safety guides already recommend taking a break from computer screens every 30 minutes to avoid eye strain, and moving around during those breaks also can help avoid diabetes.