Interrupting prolonged sitting with periodic “activity snacks” may help maintain muscle mass and quality, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Toronto.
Daniel Moore, an associate professor of muscle physiology at the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Eduction (KPE) who led the study, found that short bouts of activity, such as two minutes of walking or body weight sit-to-stand squats, allow the body to use more amino acids from meals to build muscle proteins.
The research was recently published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
“We know that prolonged sedentary periods impair the body’s ability to filter sugar from the blood following a meal,” says Moore, who heads the Iovate/Muscletech Metabolism & Sports Science Lab at KPE.
“However, breaking up this sedentary period with brief bouts of activity such as two minutes of moderate intensity walking or rising and lowering 15 times from a chair (i.e. body weight squats), can improve the way our body clears sugar from our meals.”