In a recent study out of Australia, researchers have found that alternating bouts of standing and sitting will help to increase the glucose response following a meal. This study is extremely pertinent with the holiday season around the corner. Today’s post will help to detail both the physiology and significance of this study.
In basic terms, when you eat your body works to break down food into energy. Since your brain runs on stored glycogen (a carbohydrate derivative) and your body uses glucose (a carbohydrate derivative) for energy, carbohydrates are a vitally important macronutrients to consume. When you intake carbohydrates, your body senses the increase in blood glucose (sugar levels). Insulin is then released to help uptake and metabolize the glucose in order to provide energy.
The effectiveness of this sequence of events determines a number of physiological factors: how well you use energy, how effectively you uptake vitamins and minerals, if you are prone to fat storage, and your risk for diabetes among other cardiovascular diseases.
The holiday season (and more immediately Thanksgiving) is a great time for family and rejoicing; it is also common to over consume and then relax on the couch. Numerous studies already show the strong correlation that sitting has to weight gain in both workplace and home activities. All research concluded that standing posture is advantageous in preventing weight gain. In contrast to those findings, this recent study wanted to explore the actual effect that standing has on glucose response. The results proved that standing after meals helps to digest and use food correctly.
To reiterate, the study proved that introducing at least 30 minutes of standing following consumption will greatly increase your body’s ability to perceive and react to increasing blood sugar levels. This is especially useful in overweight and at risk individuals who may already have diminished glucose response.
Hopefully with this information you will be sure to spend a little time helping to clean the dishes, having conversations with family and maybe even going for a light walk following your holiday feasts.
I hope that everyone has a great and safe Thanksgiving.