Breaking prolonged sitting increases 24-h physical activity and self-perceived energy levels but does not acutely affect cognition in healthy adults

Feng Chih Kuo, Yun Ting Lin, Ting Yu Chueh, Yu Kai Chang, Tsung Min Hung, Yung Chih Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: It is unknown whether predetermined (un)interrupted sitting within a laboratory setting will induce compensatory changes in human behaviours (energy intake and physical activity) once people return to a free-living environment. The effects of breaking up prolonged sitting on cognition are also unclear. Methods: Twenty-four (male = 13) healthy participants [age 31 ± 8 y, BMI 22.7 ± 2.3 kg/m2 (mean ± SD)] completed 320 min mixed-feeding trials under prolonged sitting (SIT) or with 2 min walking at 6.4 km/h every 20 min (ACTIVE), in a randomised crossover design. Human behaviours were recorded post-trial under free-living conditions until midnight. Cognitive performance was evaluated before and immediately after SIT and ACTIVE trials. Self-perceived sensations (appetite, energy and mood) and finger prick blood glucose levels were collected at regular intervals throughout the trials. Results: There were no differences between trials in eating behaviour and spontaneous physical activity (both, p > 0.05) in free-living conditions, resulting in greater overall total step counts [11,680 (10740,12620) versus 6049 (4845,7253) steps] and physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) over 24-h period in ACTIVE compared to SIT (all, p < 0.05). Greater self-perceived levels of energy and lower blood glucose iAUC were found in ACTIVE trial compared to SIT trial (both, p < 0.05). No differences were found in cognitive performance between trials (all, p > 0.05). Conclusion: Breaking up sitting does not elicit subsequent behavioural compensation, resulting in greater 24-h step counts and PAEE in healthy adults. Breaking up sitting reduces postprandial glucose concentrations and elicits greater self-perceived energy levels, but these positive effects do not acutely translate into improved cognitive function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-455
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Volume124
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Feb

Keywords

  • Breaking up sitting
  • Eating behaviour
  • Energy balance
  • Executive function
  • Spontaneous physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)

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