Insulin is a key hormone in energy metabolism and blood sugar regulation.
Normal insulin function in the body may be disturbed by e.g. overweight, leading to decreased insulin sensitivity and increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart diseases.
In a recent study published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, researchers found that standing is linked to better insulin sensitivity. Increasing the daily standing time may therefore help prevent chronic diseases.
The study is from Turku PET Centre and UKK institute. One author is Taru Garthwaite.
Type 2 diabetes is one the most common lifestyle diseases worldwide, and its onset is usually preceded by impaired insulin sensitivity, i.e. insulin resistance.
This refers to a state in which the body does not react to insulin normally, and the blood glucose levels rise.
Lifestyle has a strong impact on insulin resistance and the development of type 2 diabetes, and regular physical activity is known to have an important role in the prevention of these issues.
However, so far, little is known about the impact of sedentary behavior, breaks in sitting, and standing on insulin resistance.
In the study, the team examined the associations between insulin resistance and sedentary behavior, physical activity and fitness in inactive working-age adults with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart diseases.
They found that standing is linked to better insulin sensitivity independently of the amount of daily physical activity or sitting time, fitness level, or overweight.
These findings further encourage replacing a part of daily sitting time with standing, especially if physical activity recommendations are not met.
The study also emphasizes the importance of healthy body composition on metabolic health.
The results show that increased body fat percentage was a more important factor in terms of insulin sensitivity than physical activity, fitness, or the amount of time spent sitting.
Standing, on the other hand, was associated with insulin sensitivity independently, irrespective of body composition.
The team says regular exercise is well known to be beneficial for health. It seems that physical activity, fitness, and sedentary behavior are also connected to insulin metabolism, but indirectly, through their effect on body composition.
Increasing daily standing time may help in the prevention of lifestyle diseases if physical activity recommendations are not met.
If you care about diabetes, please read studies about how our choice of diet can lead to the development of diabetes and findings of walking before dinner cannot lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.
For more information about diabetes and your health, please see recent studies about vitamin D and estrogen combo may protect against diabetes, heart disease and results showing that Mediterranean diet may help people with diabetes delay meds.
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