Kinesiology doctoral students receive research grants

By Collegian News Staff

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Is there such a thing as too much sitting?

Kinesiology doctoral student Kate Lyden will attempt to answer that question in a research project titled, “Metabolic response to increased sedentary behavioral dose.” Lyden is one of two University of Massachusetts kinesiology students receiving a research grant from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) foundation, according to a press release issued by the UMass news office.

“This project will evaluate how sitting time and how we accumulate sitting time (e.g. prolonged unbroken periods of sitting vs. breaking-up sitting time) affects metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors,” Lyden explained in the press release. “Outcomes from this study will begin to shed light into specific ways to change behavior to improve health and may inform future public health recommendations on sedentary behavior.”

Lyden said that human lifestyle has changed in recent years and has decreased in activity. She said that researchers have said that too much sitting is bad for one’s health and have offered suggestions, such as standing to answer the phone. However, she noted that these studies have yet to fully explain how sitting negatively affects health and to what to degree.

Lyden plans to do her research in subjects’ natural environment as a way to gauge the effects sitting has on a typical lifestyle.

The ACSM Paffenbarger-Blair Fund for Epidemiologic Research on Physical Activity Initiative is funding Lyden’s research.

Also receiving a research grant is Rich Viskochil, who will study how exercise can help prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes.

According to the release, Viskochil said that research has proven a connection but hasn’t examined how it causes more secretion of insulin from the pancreas.

“There has been much less focus on how exercise may work to increase the amount of insulin being secreted from the pancreas,” he said. “In order to properly measure changes in insulin secretion independently of improvements in insulin sensitivity, testing must be done in cell culture without the presence of muscle.”

Viskochil added that no such testing method exists, but once he is able to develop a proper measuring technique, he will conduct testing by taking cells from those who exercise in a serum.

“This serum may dictate how the islets [cells] respond to sugar by secreting insulin, which can then be measured,” he said. “Measuring the effects of insulin secretion in a cell culture may be able to determine whether or not exercise has a direct effect on insulin secretion and identify a new mechanism by which exercise works to prevent diabetes.”

The ACSM’s Foundation Doctoral Student Research Grant Initiative is funding Viskochil’s grant.

Collegian News Staff