Warning! Standing may also help with insulin sensitivity, study finds

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Lifestyle has a strong impact on insulin resistance and the development of type 2 diabetes | Photo credit: Pexels

Highlights

  • Insulin is a key hormone in energy metabolism and blood sugar regulation
  • Standing was associated with insulin sensitivity independently, regardless of body composition.
  • Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common lifestyle diseases in the world

Turku: In a recent Finnish collaborative study from the Turku PET Center and the UKK Institute, researchers noted that standing is associated with better insulin sensitivity. Therefore, increasing daily standing time could help prevent chronic disease.

The results of the study were published in the “Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport”.

Insulin is a key hormone in energy metabolism and blood sugar regulation. The normal function of insulin in the body can be disrupted for example by being overweight, leading to decreased insulin sensitivity and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common lifestyle diseases worldwide and its onset is usually preceded by altered insulin sensitivity, i.e. insulin resistance.

This is a condition in which the body does not respond to insulin normally and blood sugar levels rise.

Lifestyle has a strong impact on insulin resistance and the development of type 2 diabetes, and regular physical activity is known to play an important role in preventing these problems.

However, so far, little is known about the impact of sedentary behavior, sitting and standing breaks on insulin resistance.

In a study by the Turku PET Center and the UKK Institute, researchers investigated associations between insulin resistance and sedentary behavior, physical activity, and fitness in inactive working-age adults with increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

In the study, researchers observed that standing is associated with better insulin sensitivity regardless of the amount of daily physical activity or time spent sitting, level of fitness or being overweight.

“This association has not been demonstrated before. These results further encourage replacing part of the daily sitting time with a standing position, especially if the recommendations for physical activity are not followed,” said Taru Garthwaite. , doctoral student, University of Turku.

Body composition strongly associated with insulin sensitivity

The study also highlights the importance of healthy body composition on metabolic health. The results show that increasing body fat percentage was a bigger factor in insulin sensitivity than physical activity, fitness, or time spent sitting.

Standing, in contrast, was associated with insulin sensitivity independently, regardless of body composition.

“Regular exercise is well known to be beneficial for health. It appears that physical activity, fitness and sedentary behavior are also linked to the metabolism of insulin, but indirectly, through their effect on body composition. “, explained Taru Garthwaite.

Causal effects cannot yet be predicted based on this study, but according to Garthwaite, the results suggest that increasing daily standing time may help prevent lifestyle-related illnesses if physical activity recommendations are not recommended. are not respected.

Next, the researchers aim to study the impact of changes in daily activity and physical inactivity on risk factors for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and on metabolism by comparing two groups in an intervention study of longer duration. .

“Our aim is to study whether reducing the daily sitting time by one hour has an impact on energy metabolism and fat accumulation in the liver and the whole body, for example, in addition to insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation, ”Garthwaite said.


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