In a collaborative Finnish study, researchers noted that standing is associated with better insulin sensitivity. Therefore, increasing your daily rest time can help prevent chronic diseases.
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 in the world, and its onset is often preceded by impaired insulin sensitivity or insulin resistance. This refers to a state in which the body does not react normally to insulin and 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 play an important role in preventing these problems.
However, until now, little is known about the impact of sedentary behavior, sitting and standing interruptions on insulin resistance.
In a study from 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 at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. and cardiovascular diseases.
In the study, the researchers found that standing was associated with better insulin sensitivity regardless of the amount of daily physical activity or time sitting, fitness level, or being overweight.
“This association has not been proven before. These findings further encourage replacing part of the daily sitting time with standing, especially if physical activity recommendations are not met, ”says PhD candidate Taru Garthwaite from the University of Turku.
The study also emphasizes the importance of a healthy body composition in metabolic health. The results show that the increase in body fat percentage was a more important factor in terms of insulin sensitivity than physical activity, fitness or the amount of time spent sitting.
On the other hand, standing was associated with insulin sensitivity independently, regardless of body composition.
“It is well known that regular exercise is beneficial for health. It seems that physical activity, good physical condition and sedentary behavior are also related to insulin metabolism, but indirectly, through its effect on body composition ”, explains Taru Garthwaite.
Causal effects cannot yet be predicted based on this study, published in Journal of science and medicine in sportBut according to Garthwaite, the results suggest that increasing daily rest time can help prevent lifestyle-related illnesses if physical activity recommendations are not followed.
Next, the researchers aim to investigate how changes in daily activity and sedentary lifestyle impact metabolic and cardiovascular disease risk factors and metabolism by comparing two groups in a longer intervention study.
“Our goal is to study whether reducing daily sitting time by one hour has an impact on energy metabolism and fat accumulation in the liver and throughout the body, for example, in addition to insulin sensitivity and regulation. blood sugar, ”says Garthwaite.