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J Sports Sci. 2018 Jul 30:1-8. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2018.1500856. [Epub ahead of print]

Effects of breaking up sedentary time with "chair squats" on postprandial metabolism.

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a Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences , University of Glasgow , Glasgow , United Kingdom.
b Ministry of Health, Health Affairs in Makkah , Nutrition Administration , Makkah , Saudi Arabia.


Prolonged sitting induces adverse metabolic changes. We aimed to determine whether breaking up prolonged sedentary time with short periods of repeated sit-to-stand transitions ("chair squats") every 20 minutes influences postprandial metabolic responses. Fourteen participants (11 men, 3 women), age 37 ± 16 years, BMI 30.5 ± 3.8 kg.m-2 (mean ± SD) each participated in two experimental trials in random order, in which they arrived fasted, then consumed a test breakfast (8 body weight, 37% energy from fat, 49% carbohydrates, 14% protein) and, 3.5 hours later, an identical test lunch. Expired air and blood samples were taken fasted and for 6.5 hours postprandially. In one trial (SIT) participants sat continuously throughout the observation period; in the "Chair squat" trial (SIT/STAND), participants performed "chair squats" (10 × standing and sitting over 30 seconds, every 20 minutes). Compared to SIT, energy expenditure was 409.7 ± 41.6 kJ (16.6 ± 1.7%) higher in SIT/STAND (p < 0.0001). Postprandial insulin concentrations over the post-breakfast period were 10.9 ± 8.4% lower in SIT/STAND than SIT (p = 0.047), but did not differ between trials in the post-lunch period. Glucose and triglyceride concentrations did not differ significantly between trials. These data demonstrate that a simple, unobtrusive intervention to break up sedentary time can induce some favourable metabolic changes.


Sitting; energy expenditure; glucose; insulin; standing; triglyceride

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