Interrupting prolonged sitting in type 2 diabetes: nocturnal persistence of improved glycaemic control

Paddy C. Dempsey, Jennifer M. Blankenship, Robyn N. Larsen, Julian W. Sacre, Parneet Sethi, Nora E. Straznicky, Neale D. Cohen, Ester Cerin, Gavin W. Lambert, Neville Owen, Bronwyn A. Kingwell, David W. Dunstan

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Aims/hypothesis: We aimed to examine the effect of interrupting 7 h prolonged sitting with brief bouts of walking or resistance activities on 22 h glucose homeostasis (including nocturnal-to-following morning hyperglycaemia) in adults with type 2 diabetes. Methods: This study is an extension of a previously published randomised crossover trial, which included 24 inactive overweight/obese adults with type 2 diabetes (14 men; 62 ± 6 years) who completed three 7 h laboratory conditions, separated by 6–14 day washout periods: SIT: (1) prolonged sitting (control); (2) light-intensity walking (LW): sitting plus 3 min bouts of light-intensity walking at 3.2 km/h every 30 min; (3) simple resistance activities (SRA): sitting plus 3 min bouts of simple resistance activities (alternating half-squats, calf raises, brief gluteal contractions and knee raises) every 30 min. In the present study, continuous glucose monitoring was performed for 22 h, encompassing the 7 h laboratory trial, the evening free-living period after leaving the laboratory and sleeping periods. Meals and meal times were standardised across conditions for all participants. Results: Compared with SIT, both LW and SRA reduced 22 h glucose [SIT: 11.6 ± 0.3 mmol/l, LW: 8.9 ± 0.3 mmol/l, SRA: 8.7 ± 0.3 mmol/l; p < 0.001] and nocturnal mean glucose concentrations [SIT: 10.6 ± 0.4 mmol/l, LW: 8.1 ± 0.4 mmol/l, SRA: 8.3 ± 0.4 mmol/l; p < 0.001]. Furthermore, mean glucose concentrations were sustained nocturnally at a lower level until the morning following the intervention for both LW and SRA (waking glucose both −2.7 ± 0.4 mmol/l compared with SIT; p < 0.001). Conclusions/interpretation: Interrupting 7 h prolonged sitting time with either LW or SRA reduced 22 h hyperglycaemia. The glycaemic improvements persisted after these laboratory conditions and nocturnally, until waking the following morning. These findings may have implications for adults with relatively well-controlled type 2 diabetes who engage in prolonged periods of sitting, for example, highly desk-bound workers. Trial registration:: ACTRN12613000576729 Funding:: This research was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) project grant (no. 1081734) and the Victorian Government Operational Infrastructure Support scheme.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-507
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • Cardiometabolic risk
  • Diabetes
  • Glycaemic control
  • Glycaemic variability
  • Nocturnal glycaemia
  • Physical activity
  • Resistance exercise
  • Sedentary behaviour
  • Sitting
  • Walking

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