Postprandial light physical activity blunts the blood glucose increase

Prev Med. 2006 May;42(5):369-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2005.10.001. Epub 2006 Mar 20.


Background: The magnitude and duration of postprandial blood glucose elevation seem to be important risk factors for diabetes Type 2 and coronary heart disease. AIM.: To investigate whether post-meal light physical activity might reduce the blood glucose increase.

Methods: Nine young (18-25 years) and 10 middle-aged (45-65 years) sedentary women, and 10 young and 10 middle-aged trained women participated in a meal/physical activity trial. Commencing after an overnight fast, each subject participated in two experiments, carried out on separate days: Day 1, the subjects were given cornflakes (1 g carbohydrate per kg body weight) to be ingested during 15 min. Blood glucose was determined while resting, before meal, and each 15 min for the next 120 min. Day 2 was similar to Day 1 but included light bicycling exercise for 30 min after finishing the meal.

Results: In all trials, irrespective of age and training condition, light bicycling for 30 min after the carbohydrate meal blunted the rise in blood glucose.

Conclusion: The results demonstrate an acute blood glucose reducing effect of light physical activity and of a magnitude similar to that obtained by hypoglycemic drugs, even after intake of a large dose of high glycemic food.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anthropometry
  • Blood Glucose*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postprandial Period*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates