Now you can add another reason to take a post-meal stroll — it may lower your blood sugar.
Standing after a meal can help, too, but not as much as putting one foot in front of the other, said study coauthor Aidan Buffey, a doctoral student in the physical education and sport sciences department at the University of Limerick in Ireland.
“Intermittent standing breaks throughout the day and after meals reduced glucose on average by 9.51% compared to prolonged sitting. However, intermittent light-intensity walking throughout the day saw a greater reduction of glucose by an average of 17.01% compared to prolonged sitting,” Buffey told CNN via email.
“This suggests that breaking prolonged sitting with standing and light-walking breaks throughout the day is beneficial for glucose levels,” he added.
Standing is good, but walking is better
“Between the seven reviewed studies, the total activity time throughout the observation was roughly 28 minutes with the standing and light walking breaks lasting between 2 to 5 minutes,” Buffey said.
Standing was better than heading straight for the desk or the couch to sit when it came to blood sugar levels, but it didn’t help lower insulin in the bloodstream, the analysis found.
However, if people went for a short walk after eating, their blood sugar levels rose and fell more gradually, and their insulin levels were more stable than either standing or sitting, the study noted.
Want to get more out of your efforts than lower blood sugars? Step up your game to meet the minimum physical activity standards for Americans: 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and two days of muscle strengthening activity a week.
Translated, that means if you get up and move for just 21.43 minutes each day of the week, you cut your risk of dying from anything by one-third.
That’s worth the effort, right?