Publication Date



Objective: To investigate the impact of activities of daily living (ADL) versus moderate-intensity endurance-type exercise on 24-h glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. Research design and methods: Twenty males with type 2 diabetes participated in a randomized crossover study consisting of three experimental periods of 3 days each. Subjects were studied under sedentary control conditions, and under conditions in which prolonged sedentary time was reduced either by three 15-min bouts of ADL (postmeal strolling, ∼3 METs) or by a single 45-min bout of moderate-intensity endurance-type exercise (∼6 METs). Blood glucose concentrations were assessed by continuous glucose monitoring, and plasma insulin concentrations were determined in frequently sampled venous blood samples. Results: Hyperglycemia (glucose > 10 mmol/L) was experienced for 6 h 51 min ±1 h 4 min per day during the sedentary control condition and was significantly reduced by exercise (4 h 47 min ± 1 h 2 min; P < 0.001), but not by ADL (6 h 2 min ± 1 h 16 min; P = 0.67). The cumulative glucose incremental areas under the curve (AUCs) of breakfast, lunch, and dinner were, respectively, 35 ± 5% (P < 0.001) and 17 ± 6% (P < 0.05) lower during the exercise and ADL conditions compared with the sedentary condition. The insulin incremental AUCs were, respectively, 33 ± 4% (P < 0.001) and 17 ± 5% (P < 0.05) lower during the exercise and ADL conditions compared with the sedentary condition. Conclusions: When matched for total duration, moderate-intensity endurance-type exercise represents a more effective strategy to improve daily blood glucose homeostasis than repeated bouts of ADL. Nevertheless, the introduction of repeated bouts of ADL during prolonged sedentary behavior forms a valuable strategy to improve postprandial glucose handling in patients with type 2 diabetes.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

Document Type

Open Access Journal Article

Access Rights

Open Access


© 2013 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. See for details.