Getting off your bum and moving around regularly is the simplest way to keep yourself healthy, scientists says.
The key finding was discovered in a collaborative study carried out by National Heart Foundation Research Fellow Dr Meredith Peddie of the University of Otago.
Dr Peddie along with colleagues from the University of Prince Edward Island and the University of Guelph in Canada reviewed 44 international studies that evaluated the acute metabolic and vascular impact of interrupting prolonged sitting.
The results published in Sports Medicine reveal performing short and regularly repeated bouts of activity lowered the concentrations of blood sugar and insulin in the bloodstream for up to nine hours after a meal.
It can also lower the fat concentration in your blood - although it is believed this is a delayed effect only occurring 12-16 hours after the activity has been initiated.
The amount of blood sugar insulin or fat that is reduced doesn't seem to be affected by the intensity of the activity performed, what you have eaten, how old you are, or how much you weigh, the results found.
"Most of us spend about 75 percent of our day sitting or being sedentary, and this behaviour has been linked to increased rates of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some cancers and overall mortality," Dr Peddie says.
"We should all be finding ways to avoid sitting for long periods, and to increase the amount of movement we do throughout the entire day."
More work needs to be done to identify the most beneficial timing, duration and mode of activity break as well as incorporating activity breaks for people who sit for long periods, the group says.