Standing at work, a proactive step you can take against Type 2 diabetes

Workplace Wellness

By pH health care professionals

Sitting is bad, and standing is good. That’s been the message of 2015 -- that even if you go for a run after work, the amount of time you sat helped to increase your risk for diabetes and death. Yikes.

But a lot of jobs involve necessary sitting, and not all employers are health-minded enough to spring for standing desks. Nevertheless, desk workers have some hope. An article published in Diabetes Care shows that the bad effects of sitting can be alleviated by standing and walking intermittently.

Researchers in England studied a group of overweight, post-menopausal women with prediabetes who were not exercisers. They were instructed to eat the same food for three days. They had their blood samples drawn while fasting and then after a fairly rich breakfast (a croissant with butter and cream and a protein shake). They had their blood drawn at several points after eating and repeated the meal and blood draws for lunch. They avoided alcohol and caffeine.

The first group sat for 7.5 hours, and participants were transported to the restroom by wheelchair. The second group stood for five minutes every 30 minutes, and the last group walked for an hour. The next day, everyone sat for 7.5 hours. Blood samples were taken throughout.

Both standing and walking reduced the “blood sugar spike” in participants by about 30 percent. Because of this, subjects’ insulin levels also didn’t spike as much. Too-high insulin is a hallmark of Type 2 diabetes.

While the study findings were promising, the study was very small and involved a high-fat meal plan that wouldn’t be consumed by most people. The researchers stated that larger studies were needed.

Be proactive!

In the meantime, the takeaway is that you can start doing something simple today to be proactive about your health: Start doing those short bouts of standing! If you want to take it to the next level, the pH health advisors can give you functional exercises that can easily be done at a desk!

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. To learn more about the pH Health Care Team, click here.

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