Sitting and Diabetes

February 28, 2013


Have you read my previous blog about how sitting is terrible for your back? Now, new research is showing that sitting also increases your odds for type 2 diabetes.

A recent British research is claiming that just informing people about sitting and having them follow through with less sitting, its actually better than an exercise program to stave off diabetes.

The journal Diabetologia published their findings on February 27th.

Patients are usually advised by their physicians to do moderate-to-vigorous exercise for at least 150 minutes a week in the attempt to prevent obesity and diabetes. The findings from two studies suggest that bringing down sitting time by 90 minutes a day could provide important health benefits.

As our lives become more automated with computers, smartphones, email, and portable technology we find our lives seeing more time in a chair and much less time moving. If we can do something as simple as changing the hours in the day sitting could be an effective deterrent to diabetes.

The research involved two studies encompassing 153 adults. One involved adults averaging 33 years of age, while the other involved older adults averaging age 65. In each study, the researchers compared time spent sitting or sedentary, as well as the amount of time engaged in moderate-to-vigorous exercise, against risk factors for diabetes.

The researchers found that time spent sitting was significantly linked to higher blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and other heart and diabetes risk factors, even after compensating for the amount of time spent exercising and the amount of body fat. Many manufacturers are now creating desks and work stations that can raise and lower at the touch of a button. I recommend purchasing these types of desks to preserve your lower back and now with new information from this study, increasing your overall health.

The findings can't prove a cause-and-effect relationship between sitting and diabetes. However, Henson said they do raise questions about what doctors should tell patients at high risk for diabetes.

"Diabetes and cardiovascular prevention programs concentrating solely on exercising may overlook an area that is of fundamental importance to cardio metabolic health," Henson said. Asking people to exercise more may help, but "such interventions may be more effective still if individuals are further encouraged to simply sit less and move more," he said.

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