(NaturalNews) Health-conscious individuals are well aware that moderate levels of physical activity are essential to promote health, especially when combined with proper diet, supplementation when necessary and lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation and avoiding chemical and household carcinogens. Recent research suggests 30 to 45 minutes of moderate intensity exercise at least five days per week to help prevent chronic illnesses.
Researchers from the University of Leicester in England have published the findings of a study in the journal Diabetologia that has discovered that sitting for long periods increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease and death. It is important to make the distinction between regular physical activity and long periods of sitting. Both are now considered to be independent factors in the development of vascular and metabolic diseases that lead to a shortened lifespan.
To evaluate data on sedentary behavior and disease risk, the study authors analyzed the results of 18 studies including a total of 794,577 participants. The scientists found the results were independent of the amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity undertaken, suggesting that even if an individual meets typical physical activity guidelines, their health may still be compromised if they sit for long periods of time throughout the day.
The lead study author Dr. Emma Wilmot noted “The average adult spends 50-70% of their time sitting so the findings of this study have far reaching implications. By simply limiting the time that we spend sitting, we may be able to reduce our risk of diabetes, heart disease and death.” People with sedentary jobs or aging adults that sit for long periods are well advised to take short breaks from sitting. Standing or taking a brief, non-intensive walk should be sufficient to lower the vascular and metabolic risks of sitting for extended periods.
The study authors concluded “There are many ways we can reduce our sitting time, such as breaking up long periods at the computer at work by placing our laptop on a filing cabinet. We can have standing meetings, we can walk during the lunch break, and we can look to reduce TV viewing in the evenings by seeking out less sedentary behaviors.” The scientists determined that the most consistent association with extended sitting was increased risk of diabetes, and theorized that it may be related to overweight or obesity from lack of physical activity.
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