Acute effects of interrupting prolonged sitting on vascular function in type 2 diabetes

Frances C. Taylor, David W. Dunstan, Ashleigh R. Homer, Paddy C. Dempsey, Bronwyn A. Kingwell, Rachel E. Climie, Neville Owen, Neale D. Cohen, Robyn N. Larsen, Megan Grace, Nina Eikelis, Michael J. Wheeler, Melanie K. Townsend, Nirav Maniar, Daniel J. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


In healthy and overweight/obese adults, interrupting prolonged sitting with activity bouts mitigates impairment in vascular function. However, it is unknown whether these benefits extend to those with type 2 diabetes (T2D), nor whether an optimal frequency of activity interruptions exist. We examined the acute effects on vascular function in T2D of interrupting prolonged sitting with simple resistance activities (SRA) at different frequencies. In a randomized crossover trial, 24 adults with T2D (35-70 yr) completed three 7-h conditions: 1) uninterrupted sitting (SIT), 2) sitting with 3-min bouts of SRA every 30 min (SRA3), and 3) sitting with 6 min bouts of SRA every 60 min (SRA6). Femoral artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD), resting shear rate, blood flow, and endothelin-1 were measured at 0, 1, 3.5, 4.5, and 6.5-7 h. Mean femoral artery FMD over 7 h was significantly higher in SRA3 (4.1 ± 0.3%) compared with SIT (3.7 ± 0.3%, P = 0.04) but not in SRA6. Mean resting femoral shear rate over 7 h was increased significantly for SRA3 (45.3 ± 4.1/s, P < 0.001) and SRA6 (46.2 ± 4.1/s, P < 0.001) relative to SIT (33.1 ± 4.1/s). Endothelin-1 concentrations were not statistically different between conditions. Interrupting sitting with activity breaks every 30 min, but not 60 min, significantly increased mean femoral artery FMD over 7 h, relative to SIT. Our findings suggest that more frequent and shorter breaks may be more beneficial than longer, less frequent breaks for vascular health in those with T2D.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H393-H403
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


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