The Effects of Breaking up Prolonged Sitting Time

A Review of Experimental Studies

Fabiana Braga Benatti; Mathias Ried-Larsen


Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2015;47(10):2053-2061. 

In This Article


Search Strategy and Data Sources

A structured computer-based search on the electronic databases PUBMED (free words and MeSH terms) and SCOPUS (free words) on peer-reviewed articles was performed by two researchers (F.B.B. and M.R.L.) on April 20, 2014 (including all available years). The following search was conducted: (trial* OR intervention* OR experiment* OR randomiz*) AND (glucose OR insulin OR triglyceride* OR lipids OR lipid OR cholesterol* OR dyslipid* OR (insulin AND sensitivity) OR (insulin AND resistance) OR (glucose AND *toleran*) OR overweight OR obesity OR adiposity) AND (sitting OR seden*) AND (exercise OR stand* OR walk* OR "physical activity"). The strings were limited to English language. Titles and abstracts were then reviewed and checked for relevance. Relevant full-text articles were then extracted and assessed for inclusion. Finally, reference lists of all included papers were searched by the reviewers for additional relevant studies. All searches were conducted independently by two researchers (F.B. and M.R.L.). Disagreements were resolved by consensus. The search flow is depicted in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Flow chart of search results.

Study Selection Criteria

Studies were prospective intervention studies (controlled and uncontrolled) evaluating the effects of explicitly replacing sitting time with physical activity (including standing) on metabolic parameters as outcomes. Studies were excluded if they (1) did not replace sitting with physical activity, (2) included a multicomponent intervention strategy (e.g., included dietary intervention and physical activity), and (3) did not evaluate the effect of replacing sedentary behavior with a cardiometabolic risk factor outcome.

Search Results

The search strategy yielded a total of 1675 studies after exclusion of duplicates. Based on titles and abstracts, 1645 studies were excluded. Thus, 29 full-text articles were further assessed for eligibility, from which 16 studies were included in the review. After further revision of all reference lists, one additional study was eligible, yielding 16 studies to be included in the review (Fig. 1).