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BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2016 Jul 25;4(1):e000232. doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2016-000232. eCollection 2016.

Stair climbing/descending exercise for a short time decreases blood glucose levels after a meal in people with type 2 diabetes.

Author information

Toyooka Hospital Hidaka Medical Center, Toyooka, Japan; Laboratory of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.
Toyooka Hospital Hidaka Medical Center , Toyooka , Japan.
Laboratory of Sports and Exercise Medicine , Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University , Kyoto , Japan.
Graduate School of Natural Sciences, Nagoya City University , Nagoya , Japan.

Erratum in

  • Correction. [BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2016]
  • BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2016; 4(1): e000232corr1..



We examined whether stair climbing-descending exercise (ST-EX), a convenient method to increase physical activity in daily life, for a short period would acutely improve the postprandial blood glucose (BG) response in people with type 2 diabetes (T2D).


16 people with T2D (age 65.4±1.1 years) participated in 2 separate sessions. After an overnight fast, each participant consumed a test meal and then kept resting for 180 min, except when performing each 3 min bout of ST-EX at 60 and 120 min after the meal (ST-EX session), or kept resting for 180 min (REST session). ST-EX comprised 6 continuous repetitions of climbing to the second floor (21 steps) at a rate of 80-110 steps/min followed by walking down slowly to the first floor at a free step rate.


The BG at 60 min after the meal during the ST-EX session (immediately before the first ST-EX) did not differ from that during the REST session, but analysis of variance revealed a significant interaction between time and treatment (p<0.01). The BG at 150 min after the meal (30 min after the second ST-EX) was significantly lower than that during the REST session (p<0.01). The area under the curve was also 18% lower during the ST-EX session than during the REST session (p<0.05). The heart rate and blood lactate levels indicated that the actual intensity of ST-EX was 'hard'. In contrast, the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) indicated that the overall intensity of ST-EX was 'moderate' because of decreased RPE scores during descent.


The present findings suggest that performing 3 min ST-EX 60 and 120 min after a meal may be a useful strategy to accelerate the decrease in postprandial BG levels in people with T2D.


Exercise; Postprandial Blood Glucose; Skeletal Muscle Metabolism; Type 2 Diabetes

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