Effects of exercise timing during prolonged sitting

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Project details

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The prevalence of conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes has greatly increased in recent years in response to a number of lifestyle alterations. In this time, energy intake and time spent in a sedentary state (sitting) has increased, concomitant with a decrease in physical activity levels, leading to disturbances in blood glucose metabolism and bodyweight regulation. Elevated blood glucose levels are a feature of type 2 diabetes, with post-meal blood glucose abnormalities representing an often undetected precursor to the condition. Thus, the management of blood glucose is fundamental to the prevention of type 2 diabetes.

Exercise has been shown to improve blood glucose control and is therefore considered key to the prevention of type 2 diabetes. Much research has evaluated the effectiveness of various exercise interventions to improve blood glucose levels. However, evidence suggests that the time of day that exercise is performed in (i.e. morning or evening) may affect the interaction between exercise and glucose homeostasis. Therefore, the current study will investigate how the timing of exercise impacts cardiometabolic risk factors. Specifically, this study will compare the effects of an evening bout of exercise to an identical morning bout on blood metabolites (glucose, insulin, lipids) during a day of prolonged sitting.

Twenty-five overweight or obese adults will complete a supervised protocol in random order. Two complete days of uninterrupted, prolonged sitting will be completed with an exercise bout performed either in the morning or evening. The following day, participants will return to the laboratory and undergo a morning of prolonged sitting followed by a free-living period where they will leave the laboratory whilst volitionally minimising their physical activity levels. The primary outcome of this study is blood glucose response to each condition. Secondary outcomes include blood insulin and lipid measures as well as appetite and fatigue assessments (evaluated via questionnaire).

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Supervisors supervising this project

Dr Evelyn Parr Associate Supervisor

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