MyDoc Tuesday Tips : Interrupting prolonged sitting time improves blood sugar

Many studies have shown that prolonged sitting time has been associated with overweight, obesity, poor blood sugar control, increased fasting glucose and 2-hour postprandial glucose, increased insulin levels, as well as increased insulin resistance. 

Source: Diabetes News Journal 

Sitting seems to be unavoidable in the modern workplace. Most of our work today is done on the laptop or a computer and we only spend time travelling to and from the office. In addition, due to long working hours, some of us are unable to exercise for the recommended 30 minutes every day. For those working remotely, the sitting hours tend to be even longer.


Prolonged sitting has proven to be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, dyslipidemia, excessive fat around the abdomen, increased blood pressure, etc.

The Diabetologia journal – the official journal of the European Association for the study of Diabetes published The Maastricht Study (Netherlands) which has shown that sitting for an extra hour increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 22% and metabolic syndrome by 39%.

So, even though you may exercise regularly for 30 to 60 minutes or engage in exercise for sports, if you are sitting for prolonged hours without a light physical activity break, you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Another study has shown that a day of light-intensity physical activity with sitting for less than 6 hours improves whole-body insulin action the following morning when compared to prolonged sitting for 16 hours.

Stand up to Diabetes

Hyperglycemia (the increase in 2-hour postprandial blood glucose), nocturnal hyperglycemia has been observed with prolonged sitting. This leads to regular frequent spikes of high and low blood sugar; in turn, increasing your risk of early onset of heart damage, high cholesterol, eye damage, kidney damage and nerve damage.

Interrupting prolonged sitting with light to moderate intensity breaks reduces insulin levels and blood sugar levels after a meal. If continued consistently, it will further lead to better weight management and improve blood cholesterol levels.

Leading an active lifestyle and eating a balanced healthy diet are key to managing your blood sugar. Reach out to our team of doctors and health coaches at MyDoc to help you manage your diabetes and lead an active life.

Always care for you,
Claudia, MyDoc dietician

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