Excerpts inspired by a recent New York Times article by Gretchen Reynolds.
In the upcoming issue of Diabetes Care, scientists had adults sit completely still for seven hours or, on a separate day, rise every 20 minutes and walk leisurely on a treadmill for two minutes. On another day, they had the volunteers jog gently during their two-minute breaks.
When the volunteers remained stationary for the full seven hours, their blood sugar spiked and insulin levels were out of whack. But when they broke up the hours with movement, even that short two-minute stroll, their blood sugar levels remained stable. Interestingly, the jogging didn’t improve blood sugar regulation any more than standing and walking did. What was important, the scientists concluded, was simply breaking up the long, interminable hours of sitting.
Recent experiments at the University of Massachusetts showed that when volunteers stood all day - nothing else; no walking or jogging; just standing - they burned hundreds more calories than when they sat for the same period of time.