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Sitting less elicits metabolic responses similar to exercise and enhances insulin sensitivity in postmenopausal women – published online 12/09/2021

Remie graphical abstract

Carlijn M. E. Remie, Georges E. Janssens, Lena Bilet, Michel van Weeghel, Bernard M. F. M. Duvivier, Vera H. W. de Wit, Niels J. Connell, Johanna A. Jörgensen, Bauke V. Schomakers, Vera B. Schrauwen-Hinderling, Joris Hoeks, Matthijs K. C. Hesselink, Esther Phielix, Riekelt H. Houtkooper, Patrick Schrauwen

An effective strategy to improve health is to replace sitting time with standing and walking. However, how this compares to exercise, and the underlying molecular mechanism, remain unknown. In this issue, Remie and Janssens et al ( describe the results of a randomised crossover intervention study in which three 4-day activity regimens were evaluated. These included: (1) a sitting regimen; (2) an exercise regimen where 1 h of sitting was replaced by a 1 h bout of exercise; and (3) a sitting less regimen that replaced several hours of sitting with standing and walking. The authors found an improvement in insulin sensitivity in the sitting less (~13%) and the exercise (~20%) regimens. Evaluating over a hundred metabolites in muscle biopsies, the authors found that sitting less showed similar global molecular changes to exercise. The authors conclude that a sitting-less regimen can be a viable strategy for metabolic health.

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