Regular brief interruptions to sitting after a high-energy evening meal attenuate glycemic excursions in overweight/obese adults

Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2018 Sep;28(9):909-916. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2018.05.009. Epub 2018 May 26.


Background and aims: Modern Western lifestyles are characterized by consumption of approximately 45% of total daily energy intake at the evening meal, followed by prolonged sitting while watching television (TV), which may deleteriously impact glycemic control. After a high-energy evening meal (dinner), we examined whether regular, brief activity bouts during TV commercial breaks could acutely lower postprandial glucose and insulin responses in overweight/obese adults, compared to prolonged uninterrupted sitting.

Methods and results: Nine overweight/obese adults (29.7 ± 4.06 kg m-2; aged 32 ± 3 years; 5 male) completed two laboratory-based conditions of three and a half hours: prolonged sitting during TV viewing (SIT); and, prolonged sitting interrupted every 20 min with 3 min of light-intensity body-weight resistance activities (active commercial breaks; ACBs). Venous postprandial glucose and insulin responses to dinner were calculated as positive incremental area under the curve (iAUC) from baseline. Interstitial glucose was measured using a continuous glucose monitor and quantified as total AUC (tAUC). Compared to SIT, plasma glucose iAUC was reduced by 33% [3.4 ± 1.0 vs 5.1 ± 1.0 (mean ± SEM) mmol h·L-1, p = 0.019] and plasma insulin iAUC by 41% (813 ± 224 vs 1373 ± 224, p = 0.033 pmol h·L-1) for the ACB condition. During the ACB condition there was a significant reduction in interstitial glucose tAUC (24.4 ± 5.2 vs 26.9 ± 5.2 mmol h·L-1, p < 0.001), but this did not persist beyond the laboratory observation period.

Conclusions: Regular brief light-intensity activity bouts can attenuate glycemic responses during television viewing time following a high-energy evening meal in overweight/obese adults.

Keywords: Circadian rhythm; Glucose; Obesity; Sedentary.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Energy Intake*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Meals*
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / diagnosis
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Postprandial Period*
  • Resistance Training*
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Sitting Position
  • Television
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Victoria


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin