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"Activity Snacking" May Help Manage Blood Sugar Levels in Type 1 Diabetes, Study Finds

A new study presented at a UK diabetes charity's conference suggests that taking short walks every half an hour could help manage blood sugar levels in people with type 1 diabetes. The study, which was funded by Diabetes UK and led by Dr. Matthew Campbell from the University of Sunderland, involved 32 participants with type 1 diabetes who completed two seven-hour sessions of sitting down. In one session, they remained seated, while in the other, they took three-minute bouts of light-intensity walking every 30 minutes.

The results showed that taking regular walking breaks over seven hours resulted in lower average blood sugar levels (6.9 mmol/L) compared to uninterrupted sitting (8.2 mmol/L). This also improved the time individuals spent with their sugar levels within a desirable range. The study's findings suggest that "activity snacking," or taking short bouts of physical activity throughout the day, could be a simple, practical change to help manage blood glucose levels for people with type 1 diabetes.

Dr. Elizabeth Robertson, director of research at Diabetes UK, said that managing blood sugar levels for people with type 1 diabetes can be a relentless task, and these findings offer a cost-free way to make a difference. Dr. Campbell added that "activity snacking" could be an important stepping stone towards more regular physical activity for some people with type 1 diabetes and a simple intervention to help manage blood glucose levels for others.

While the trial was small and has not yet been published, the researchers hope to complete larger studies over a longer period to understand this approach's benefits better. Nevertheless, the study's findings offer a practical and accessible way for people with type 1 diabetes to manage their blood sugar levels and potentially reduce the risk of long-term complications.

In conclusion, "activity snacking" through short periods of physical activity every half an hour could offer a practical, cost-free way for people with type 1 diabetes to manage their blood glucose levels. Further research is needed to confirm the benefits of this approach, but these initial findings are encouraging and offer hope for a more accessible way to manage type 1 diabetes.

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