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Brief Movement Breaks Help Children with Glucose Tolerance

brief movement breaks help with glucose tolerance from Your Therapy Source Inc

The National Institutes of Health completed a research study to determine if interrupting sitting with short, moderate-intensity walking bouts could improve glucose tolerance in 28 healthy, normal weight 7-11 year old children. The children went two times to a  medical center after an overnight fast – (1) one time they remained seated for 3 hours with very little movement and (2) another time the children walked on a treadmill for 3 minutes at a moderate-intensity pace every 30 minutes for a total of 18 minutes during the 3-hour time frame.  During both visits to the medical the children drank a glucose drink and blood samples were drawn, heart rate and activity levels were measured.

The following results were recorded:

  1. during the three hour period with the movement breaks children averaged 7% lower glucose levels and 32% lower insulin levels, lower blood levels of free fatty acids (high levels of which are linked to type 2 diabetes) and lower levels of C-peptide (an indicator of how hard the pancreas is working to control blood sugar) compared to when they sat for 3 hours continuously.
  2. after the three hour periods children were allowed to choose their lunch and they ate roughly the same amounts of calories and kinds of foods after each of the sessions.

Reference: Effects of Interrupting Children’s Sedentary Behaviors With Activity on Metabolic Function: A Randomized Trial. Belcher BR, Berrigan D, Papachrisotopoulou A, Brady SM, Bernstein SB, Brychta RJ, Hattenbach JD, Tigner IL Jr, Courville AB, Drinkard BE, Smith KP, Rosing DR, Wolters PL, Chen KY, Yanovski JA. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Aug 27:jc20152803. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 26312582.

Need ideas for easy and fun movement breaks in the classroom? Check out all these Brain Breaks at http://yourtherapysource.com/brainbreaks.html