Science and Technology

Fighting diabetes lying down?

Lying down all day can cause serious implications – but according to a new study a short stint spent horizontal may be an effective way to fight type 2 diabetes.

University of Queensland School of Human Movement and Nutrition Studies researcher Ravin Lal is trialling an External Counterpulsation (ECP) device which simulates the effects of physical activity.

“The ECP treatment mimics the effects of exercise by placing cuffs on the lower and upper legs that apply compression as you relax for 30 to 45 minutes,” Mr Lal said.

“We then assess participants using functional tests, health checks and vascular function to determine what degree of adaptation has occurred.

“It is believed the ECP will promote improvements in circulation, cardiovascular fitness, overall health and fitness, and help the management of blood sugar and diabetes.”

The study, which is being conducted at UQ’s St Lucia campus, is specifically looking to help people who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Participants will undergo treatment three times a week for seven weeks – free of cost.

Some extra assessments may also be conducted before and after the seven-week period.

“Exercise is a vital component for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes due to its ability to regulate blood sugar levels with little to no side effects,” Mr Lal said.

“Exercise training also lowers the risk of developing other diseases which could eventuate as a result of type 2 diabetes, such as cardiovascular disease.

“While it is suggested that patients with type 2 diabetes exercise at moderate intensity for at least 30 minutes a day, this may be unachievable or contraindicated.”

For those hindered by time constraints or injuries, ECP may be an effective additional treatment method that allows type 2 diabetes patients to improve circulation and cardiovascular health.

A limited number of places for the trial are available.

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