Sitting For Long Periods Can Seriously Increase Risk To Your Health

Office workers beware – new research has suggested that sitting at your desk all day can double the risk of diabetes, heart disease and death.

The findings of a recent British study have revealed the effect of extended periods of sitting, with experts now suggesting that office staff should consider standing at meetings or moving their work station to the nearest filing cabinet. When analysing the results of 18 studies, with a total of 794,577 participants, scientists noticed a marked difference in health outcomes between those with the most and least sedentary lifestyles.

Published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, the findings of the study showed that, compared with the least sedentary, those who spent the most time sitting down had a 112% greater risk of diabetes. Similarly, the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks or strokes increased by 147% in the most sedentary, and death linked to heart disease by 90%.

Professor Stuart Biddle, from the University of Loughborough, led the study. He comments: “Currently, society forces us into too much sitting, sitting at school, sitting at office desks, sitting in cars and so on. 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 behaviours.”

“As a rule of thumb, if you can break up sitting time by at least five minutes every half hour, we think that will benefit you. What were seeing is these negative effects that are independent of the physical activity we do, and thats really crucial. So you can go for a 30-minute run every day but if youre sitting around for the rest of the day youre not doing yourself any favours.”

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