Replacing sitting with light-intensity physical activity throughout the day versus 1 bout of vigorous-intensity exercise: similar cardiometabolic health effects in multiple sclerosis. A randomised cross-over study

Ine Nieste*, Wouter M A Franssen, Bernard M F M Duvivier, Jan Spaas, Hans H C M Savelberg, Bert O Eijnde

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


PURPOSE: Persons with Multiple Sclerosis (PwMS) are physically inactive and spend more time in sedentary behaviours than healthy persons, which increases the risk of developing cardiometabolic diseases. In this randomised crossover study, the cardiometabolic health effects of replacing sitting with light-intensity physical activity (LIPA) and exercise (EX) were investigated.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-eight mildly disabled PwMS performed four 4-day activity regimens in free-living conditions; CONTROL (habitual activity), SIT, LIPA, and EX. Plasma glucose and insulin (oral glucose tolerance test), plasma lipids, inflammation, resting heart rate, blood pressure, body weight, and perceived exertion were measured ( NCT03919058).

RESULTS: CONTROL: 9.7 h sitting/day, SIT: 13.3 h sitting/day, LIPA: 8.3 h sitting, 4.7 h standing, and 2.7 h light-intensity walking/day, and EX: 11.6 h sitting/day with 1.3 h vigorous-intensity cycling. Compared to SIT, improvements (p < 0.001) after LIPA and EX were found for insulin total area under the curve (-17 019 ± 5708 and -23 303 ± 7953 pmol/L*min), insulin sensitivity (Matsuda index +1.8 ± 0.3 and +1.9 ± 0.4) and blood lipids (triglycerides: -0.4 ± 0.1 and -0.5 ± 0.1 mmol/L; non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol: -0.3 ± 0.1 and -0.5 ± 0.1 mmol/L), with no difference between LIPA and EX. Perceived exertion was higher after EX compared to LIPA (Borg score [6-20]: +2.6 ± 3.3, p = 0.002).

CONCLUSION: Replacing sitting with LIPA throughout the day exerts similar cardiometabolic health effects as a vigorous-intensity exercise in PwMS.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATIONIncreasing light-intensity physical activity (LIPA) throughout the day improves cardiometabolic health to the same extent as one vigorous-intensity exercise sessionIncreasing LIPA induces less exertion than performing a vigorous-intensity exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Oct 2022

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