Clinical Edge

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Interrupting Sedentary Behavior in Children

Diabetes Care; ePub 2018 Aug 6; Broadney, et al

Among children with overweight or obesity, interrupting sitting with brief moderate-intensity walking improved glucose metabolism without significantly increasing energy intake, a recent study found. Overweight/obese children aged 7-11 years underwent 2 experimental conditions in random order: prolonged sitting (3 hours of continuous sitting) and interrupted sitting (3 minutes of moderate-intensity walking at 80% of ventilatory threshold every 30 minutes for 3 hours). Insulin, C-peptide, and glucose were measured every 30 minutes for 3 hours during an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Each session was followed by a buffet meal. Primary outcomes were differences in OGTT hormones and substrates and in buffet meal intake by condition. Researchers found:

  • Among 35 children with complete data, mixed-model results identified lower insulin and C-peptide in the interrupted condition.
  • The intervention reduced insulin area under the curve (AUC) by 21% and C-peptide AUC by 18% and improved estimated insulin sensitivity.
  • Neither buffet total energy intake nor macronutrient composition of the meal differed significantly between conditions.


Broadney MM, Belcher BR, Berrigan DA, et al. Effects of interrupting sedentary behavior with short bouts of moderate physical activity on glucose tolerance in children with overweight and obesity: A randomized, crossover trial. [Published online ahead of print August 6, 2018]. Diabetes Care. doi:10.2337/dc18-0774.