Oral Presentation Australian Diabetes Society and the Australian Diabetes Educators Association Annual Scientific Meeting 2014

“Exercise-snacking” to improve glucose control (#185)

John A Hawley 1
  1. Exercise & Nutrition Research Group, School of Exercise Sciences, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne , VIC, Australia

There is a growing health burden in Australia arising from the interrelated sequelae of metabolic disorders comprising impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Up to 40% of individuals with IGT develop T2D within a decade, a transition that can be effectively prevented or delayed by primary lifestyle interventions including diet and exercise. IGT and T2D are the paradigm of inactivity-related disorders: the majority of people with these conditions are overweight and inactive, with up to 80% being obese. With regard to glycaemic control, peak glucose concentrations typically occur ~60-90 min after a meal and in individuals with IGT are sustained for several hours. Glycaemic excursions, such as those following meals, correlate with HbA1c levels and play a deleterious role in inducing oxidative stress and inflammation. As such, improved postprandial glucose control in individuals with IGT may prevent the further development of T2D and associated complications. Currently fewer than 30% of Australian adults meet exercise recommendations with a ‘lack of time’ ostensibly the major barrier to regular exercise participation, regardless of sex, age, socioeconomic status and fitness level. Accordingly, short-term, high-intensity interval training (HIT) represents a time-efficient stimulus to improve blood glucose control in individuals with IGT and patients with T2D. We have recently reported that brief, intense bouts of intermittent walking before main meals improved glycaemic control in persons with IGT. Accordingly, “exercise snacking” before meals is a time-efficient, cost-effective and potent intervention to improve glycaemic control in persons with insulin resistance.