A meta-analysis of seven studies, published in the journal Sports Medicine, examined the impact of sitting for long periods of time compared to either light-intensity walking or standing on cardiometabolic health markers.
Study participants were either placed in a walking or standing group and were instructed to walk or stand for two to five minutes every 20 to 30 minutes over the course of one day. Two of the seven studies included participants with and without diabetes. The remaining five included participants without any history of diabetes. Researchers found that even these few minutes of slow walking were enough to lower blood sugar and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Researchers also found that the impact of walking after a meal is best within 60 to 90 minutes after eating when blood sugar levels are at their peak.