Acute high-intensity interval exercise reduces the postprandial glucose response and prevalence of hyperglycaemia in patients with type 2 diabetes

Diabetes Obes Metab. 2012 Jun;14(6):575-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1326.2012.01564.x. Epub 2012 Feb 20.


High-volume endurance exercise (END) improves glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes (T2D) but many individuals cite 'lack of time' as a barrier to regular participation. High-intensity interval training (HIT) is a time-efficient method to induce physiological adaptations similar to END, but little is known regarding the effect of HIT in T2D. Using continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), we examined the 24-h blood glucose response to one session of HIT consisting of 10 × 60 s cycling efforts at ~90% maximal heart rate, interspersed with 60 s rest. Seven adults with T2D underwent CGM for 24-h on two occasions under standard dietary conditions: following acute HIT and on a non-exercise control day (CTL). HIT reduced hyperglycaemia measured as proportion of time spent above 10 mmol/l (HIT: 4.5 ± 4.4 vs. CTL: 15.2 ± 12.3%, p = 0.04). Postprandial hyperglycaemia, measured as the sum of post-meal areas under the glucose curve, was also lower after HIT vs. CTL (728 ± 331 vs. 1142 ± 556 mmol/l·9 h, p = 0.01). These findings highlight the potential for HIT to improve glycaemic control in T2D.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / blood*
  • Hyperglycemia / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postprandial Period*
  • Prevalence
  • Time Factors


  • Blood Glucose