Three short postmeal walks as an alternate therapy to continuous walking for women with gestational diabetes

Publication Name

Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism


The purpose of this study was to determine whether postmeal walking (PMW, breaking up exercise into short bouts after meals) is an effective and feasible alternative to continuous walking for the management of gestational diabetes. Forty-one women with gestational diabetes were randomised between weeks 28–30 gestation to either standard care (30 minutes continuous exercise) or standard care with PMW (10 minutes of walking after breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Continuous glucose and activity monitors were worn to measure glycaemic control and adherence during 3 days of standard care (baseline) followed by 3 days of postmeal or continuous walking. A linear mixed model analysed the changes from baseline between postmeal and continuous walking, as an average of the 3-day periods. Thirty-two women (PMW n = 17: control n = 15, 33 ± 5 years, body mass index 25 ± 4 kg·m–2) completed the trial. Postprandial and overnight glucose concentrations were similar between PMW and control; both interventions improved from baseline. There was no difference in adherence between groups; however, PMW completed more minutes of prescribed physical activity across baseline and intervention days compared to the continuous walking standard-care group. Preliminary findings from this proof-of-concept study suggest PMW could be a promising alternative to, and work interchangeably with, traditional advice to perform continuous moderate-intensity physical activity in women with gestational diabetes.

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National Health and Medical Research Council



Link to publisher version (DOI)