Sitting at Work? Get Up Every Once in a While, Says Diabetes Association

The American Diabetes Association says that people with any type of diabetes should move around every half hour or so to ensure that the body is properly managing blood glucose.

New recommendations from one of the largest medical groups in the country emphasize more than ever the importance of getting away from your desk.

Last month, the American Diabetes Association announced new recommendations for physical activity for people suffering from the disease. The key point of ADA’s advice? If your job requires you to be sedentary, it’s important to get up every half hour or so and move around. The recommendations are for people with all types of diabetes, particularly type 2, and come on top of normal physical activity recommended by the group.

“Increasing unstructured physical activity should be encouraged as part of a whole-day approach, or at least initially as a stepping stone for individuals who are sedentary and unable/reluctant to participate in more structured exercise,” ADA‘s report states.

Sheri R. Colberg-Ochs, Ph.D., lead author of the new recommendations and consultant/director of physical fitness for ADA, says the approach is important to keep blood glucose management in check.

“These updated guidelines are intended to ensure everyone continues to physically move around throughout the day—at least every 30 minutes—to improve blood glucose management,” Colberg-Ochs said in a news release. “This movement should be in addition to regular exercise, as it is highly recommended for people with diabetes to be active. Since incorporating more daily physical activity can mean different things to different people with diabetes, these guidelines offer excellent suggestions on what to do, why to do it and how to do it safely.”

ADA’s new physical activity guidelines, the first of its kind from the group, come after a series of reports regarding sedentary behavior, according to the American Journal of Managed Care. And ADA is not the first group to make such a recommendation: Back in August, the American Heart Association warned that too much sitting could have a negative effect on cardiovascular health, no matter how much exercise was done to offset it.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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