A new study has found that prolonged sitting may lead to health issues even if you exercise regularly. It raises cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels, and makes people vulnerable to developing type 2 diabetes or heart disease.
Good news is that the cure is a simple one – start standing or walking around every once in a while. Genevieve Healy, lead author on the study and researcher from the University of Queensland (Herston), gave a statement saying that converting “some of your sitting time” into standing time could benefit both your heart and your metabolism.
She went on to add that spending more time standing rather than sitting can “improve your blood sugar, fats in the blood and cholesterol levels”, and replacing sitting time with walking time can “have additional benefits for your waistline and body mass index” (BDI).
For their study, Healy and her team look at almost 800 subjects, both men and women, with the age between 36 and 80. They monitored how much time each of the subjects spent sleeping or lying down, standing, walking and running, on a daily basis (24 hours) for seven (7) days straight.
What’s more, the researchers also collected blood samples from the subjects, measured their blood pressure levels, their waist circumference, and the proportion of their weight and their height (body mass index).
What the experts found was that spending just two (2) hours at work standing rather than sitting at the desk was linked to blood sugar levels that were about 2 percent (2%) lower and triglyceride levels, a type of fat found in the blood, that were 11 percent (11%) lower.
On top if this, subjects who spent even more than two (2) hours standing were found to have an increase in good cholesterol (HDL) and a decrease in bad cholesterol (LDL).
Spending two (2) hours per day walking rather than sitting was linked to blood sugar levels that were about 11 percent (11%) lower and triglyceride levels that were 14 percent (14%) lower, all while good cholesterol levels got higher.
But the biggest change happened when subjects converted two (2) hours of their sitting time into running time. Their body mass index decreased by roughly 11 percent (11%), and their waists became nearly three (3) inch smaller.
The findings are nothing new as Dr. Gregg Fonarow, professor of cardiology from the University of California (Los Angeles), gave a statement of his own stressing that many previous studies have concluded that a sedentary lifestyle raises someone’s chance of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even experiencing a premature death.
It’s worth mentioning that the researchers could not offer undeniable proof that converting sitting time into standing time automatically improves a person’s health, only that there is a connection.
The study was published just a few days ago, on July 31, 2015, in the European Heart Journal.
Image Source: forbes.com