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Scientists are testing a device, which simulates the effects of exercising

Posted August 2, 2016

Lying down for extended periods of times has been proven to have seriously negative effects on people‘s health. However, in some cases lying down for long periods of time is basically unavoidable. Scientists at the University of Queensland are now testing a special device, which would simulate the effects of physical activity while person is lying in the bed.

Exercising helps regulating sugar level in the blood, but it is not always possible. Image credit: Lance Cpl. Mark Watola via Wikimedia, Public Domain

Exercising helps regulating sugar level in the blood, but it is not always possible. Image credit: Lance Cpl. Mark Watola via Wikimedia, Public Domain

Scientists say that this gadget, called External Counterpulsation (ECP) device, is extremely beneficial for type 2 diabetes patients. The fundamental principle of the ECP device is quite simple. Patient lies down in the bed and relaxes for 30 to 45 minutes while special cuffs on the lower and upper legs apply compression.

For now, while device is being tested, scientists are measuring various health parameters of the patient to determine how effective therapy is. The main improvements are thought to be achieved in vascular function. Ravin Lal, the main researcher of this study, said: “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”. All of these potential health benefits are extremely hopeful for a huge number of diabetes patients, but before ECP device is publicly available more testing is needed.

During the study, participants will have to undergo free of charge procedures three times a week for seven weeks. Inevitably, some more tests will be needed before and after the research period. However, it is believed that procedures will benefit health of people living with type 2 diabetes greatly. Daily physical exercise is able to regulate sugar levels in the blood with no side effects. It is typically suggested that diabetes patients should exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, but it may not be always possible, which is why scientists are now testing the ECP device.

ECP device being tested. Image credit:

ECP device being tested. Image credit:

It is not uncommon for people with type 2 diabetes to be hindered by other conditions or injuries, which prevent these people from exercising. Therefore, an alternative is needed. However, it will still take some time until ECP device is widely available, because it is only the beginning of trials.


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