Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2018) 17, 680 - 685

Research article
Reducing Glycemic Indicators with Moderate Intensity Stepping of Varied, Short Durations in People with Pre-Diabetes
Eric Bartholomae1,2, Zachary Johnson1, Jeffery Moore1, Kathryn Ward1, Jochen Kressler1, 
Author Information
1 School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA
2 College of Health Solutions, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA

Jochen Kressler
✉ 5500 Campanile Dr, San Diego, CA, USA
Publish Date
Received: 05-07-2018
Accepted: 16-10-2018
Published (online): 20-11-2018
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Investigate the effects of short duration stair climbing/descending at a self-selected pace on post-prandial glucose responses in adults. Thirty participants (10 female) completed 4 oral glucose tolerance tests on separate days. Following glucose consumption, participants underwent seated rest (control) or walked up/down 21 stairs at a self-selected comfortable pace for 10, 3, and 1min in randomized order. Blood glucose was measured by capillary sampling from finger sticks every 15min until values for all trials converged. Area under the curve (AUC) was calculated by trapezoidal rule. In addition, cardiometabolic measurements were taken during stair exercise with a mobile metabolic cart. Results are presented as mean (SD) unless stated otherwise. All stair-climbing trials reduced peak (30min) postprandial blood glucose levels compared to the control [(1 min = 12(31), p = 0.026; 3 min = -15(25), p = 0.003; 10 min = 35(32) mg/dL, p < 0.001]. At 45min, there were significant reductions only for the 3 and 10 min trials [13(29) and 23(31) mg/dL, p = 0.023 and < 0.001 respectively], but not the 1 min trial [6(33) mg/dL, p = 0.317]. There were significant differences in AUC compared to the control only for the 3 and 10min trials [502 (1141) and 866 (1123) mg/dL·min-1, p = 0.023 and < 0.000] but not for the 1min trial [353 (1265) mg/dL·min-1, p = 0.110]. Median (interquartile range) RPEs reported for the 1, 3, and 10min trials were 1.0 (1.5), 2.0(2), and 3.0 (2.0) respectively, while VO2 was n/a, 54(12), and 59(13)% of peak, respectively. Total metabolic cost was 1.4 (0.5), 4.0 (1.0), and 11.9 (2.1) L O2, respectively. A single 1min bout of low-moderate intensity stair stepping can significantly lower peak glucose concentration, with longer bouts being more effective.

Key words: Glucose, stairs, postprandial, disease risk

           Key Points
  • People want to know the shortest, easiest yet still effective bout of exercise to improve health risk
  • This study shows that as little as a single bout of 1min of exercise can have beneficial effects on health risk markers.
  • As little as 3min of exercise can reduce area under curve for glucose response after feeding over 1 hour.
  • This effect can be achieved with a single, low-moderate intensity simple exercise (i.e. stair stepping)
  • People perceived the stair stepping exercise as lower intensity than it objectively is, potentially making it easier to begin or maintain.
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