Publication by Carlijn Remie on sitting less

The article by Carlijn Remie is now available in Diabetologia with the title: “Sitting less elicits metabolic responses similar to exercise and enhances insulin sensitivity in postmenopausal women”.

Read the full article here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33079174/

Read the abstract below.

Aims/hypothesis: In our current society sedentary behaviour predominates in most people and is associated with the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It has been suggested that replacing sitting time by standing and walking could be beneficial for individuals with type 2 diabetes but the underlying mechanisms are unknown and direct comparisons with exercise are lacking. Our objective was to directly compare metabolic responses of either sitting less or exercising, relative to being sedentary.

Methods: We performed a randomised, crossover intervention study in 12 overweight women who performed three well-controlled 4 day activity regimens: (1) sitting regimen (sitting 14 h/day); (2) exercise regimen (sitting 13 h/day, exercise 1 h/day); and (3) sitting less regimen (sitting 9 h/day, standing 4 h/day and walking 3 h/day). The primary outcome was insulin sensitivity measured by a two-step hyperinsulinaemic-euglycaemic clamp. We additionally performed metabolomics on muscle biopsies taken before the clamp to identify changes at the molecular level.

Results: Replacing sitting time by standing and walking over 4 days resulted in improved peripheral insulin sensitivity, comparable with the improvement achieved by moderate-to-vigorous exercise. Specifically, we report a significant improvement in peripheral insulin sensitivity in the sitting less (~13%) and the exercise regimen (~20%), compared with the sitting regimen. Furthermore, sitting less shifted the underlying muscle metabolome towards that seen with moderate-to-vigorous exercise, compared with the sitting regimen.

Conclusions/interpretations: Replacing sitting time by standing and walking is an attractive alternative to moderate-to-vigorous exercise for improving metabolic health.