Desk-bound with diabetes? Trial tests effectiveness of sedentary intervention
An innovative Melbourne trial is empowering desk-based workers with type 2 diabetes to take a stand — literally — with a physical activity program for those returning to the office or facing more time working from home.
Physical activity experts at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute are hoping to help desk-based workers with type 2 diabetes who may have noticed a spike in their sedentary behavior since the start of the pandemic.
The Institute’s Head of Physical Activity Professor David Dunstan said the waves of lockdown had seen Melbournians’ sedentary time skyrocket and that was particularly concerning for those with chronic conditions like diabetes.
“Higher levels of sedentary behaviour are linked with increased risk of type 2 diabetes and also significantly impact on effective management of the condition,” Professor Dunstan said.
“But recent studies have shown that reducing and breaking up sitting time has beneficial effects on important markers like blood glucose control and insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
“We want to put that to the test across a large group of Melbourne desk-based workers, in the hope that the results may show a clear avenue to address our increasing diabetes burden.
“Currently 280 Australians develop diabetes every day — that’s one person every five minutes — and type 2 diabetes prevalence is particularly high among middle-aged and older workers.”
Professor Dunstan’s team is recruiting participants to the OPTIMISE trial who may be returning to the office as restrictions ease, as well as those facing a continued period of working from home — understanding that’s where physical activity levels may need the biggest jumpstart.
They are hoping to recruit 250 Melbourne desk-based workers with type 2 diabetes, to track whether reducing and breaking up sitting time helps with their glycaemic control. The six-month intervention portion of the trial involves health-coaching, use of a complimentary sit-stand workstation and a physical activity app.