Intense exercise for an hour not enough

In a study of 18 otherwise healthy, sedentary volunteers with normal BMI, researchers demonstrated long periods of low intensity activity may be more beneficial for lipid and insulin levels than short bursts of strenuous exercise. The test subjects were aged 18–30 years and had normal triglycerides and plasma glucose levels.

They were put through a crossover regimen of ‘sitting’ which included 14 hours a day seated, one hour of walking and one hour of standing plus eight hours sleeping; ‘exercise’ in which one hour of sitting was replaced with one hour of cycling on an exercise bike; and a ‘minimal intensity’ regime in which six hours of sitting was replaced by four hours of relaxed walking and two hours of standing.

“The novel finding was that a one hour bout of physical exercise cannot completely compensate for the negative effects of inactivity on insulin, triglycerides, apo B and non-HDL cholesterol levels,