Australian researchers have highlighted that moving through the day benefits the mixture of lipids (blood fats) in people with type 2 diabetes.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, suggests people with type 2 diabetes who move more have a healthier mix of lipids than those that live a more sedentary lifestyle.
Dr Megan S Grace, from Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute and Melbourne’s Monash University was the lead author of the research.
She said: “Our current findings reinforce the message that avoiding prolonged periods of sitting, and finding ways to increase activity across the day, is beneficial for health. In line with the recent American Diabetes Association Position Statement, we recommend interrupting sitting every 30 minutes with a few minutes of light intensity activity, in addition to regularly taking part in a structured exercise program.”
Scientists examined 338 lipid species using a technique called mass spectrometry in 21 adults with type 2 diabetes during three scenarios.
Only moving to use the toilet
Walking every 30 minutes for a total of three minutes
Completing light exercise, including knee raises and squats, again for three minutes every half-an-hour.
The results showed that those with a less healthy mix of lipids had an inflammatory profile and lacked antioxidants to combat this while they were . The effect was most significant after mealtimes. The inflammatory profile was improved by light exercise such as walking.
Dr Grace said: “We have previously shown that interrupting prolonged sitting with light intensity activity after meals reduces risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, such as elevated blood sugars and high blood pressure.”
Previous studies have also highlighted the fact that the blood fat profile of people with type 2 diabetes leads to both inflammation as well as insulin resistance, but physical activity could improve this.
Dr Grace added: “What we found interesting about this study was that breaking up sitting also reduces levels of lipids in the bloodstream that are associated with risk for type 2 diabetes and its complications. Our study showed that breaks which include either simple resistance exercise or light walking were generally equally beneficial in reducing blood lipids.”
Dr Grace summarised the findings of the research with the simple message: “stand up, sit less and move more – particularly after meals.”