Sitting down for long periods of time increases risk of diabetes, heart disease and death

Posted by hct16 at Oct 15, 2012 10:15 AM |
Researchers urge people to take breaks from long periods of sitting to reduce health risks.

A new study led by the University of Leicester, in association with colleagues at Loughborough University, has discovered that sitting for long periods increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease and death.

The study, which combined the results of 18 studies and included a total of 794,577 participants, was led by Dr. Emma Wilmot, a research fellow in the Diabetes Research Group at the University of Leicester.  The research was in collaboration with colleagues from the newly established National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit and was published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association of the Study of Diabetes.

The research showed that those who sat for long periods of time have a higher chance in their risk of diabetes, heart-disease and death.  Interestingly, the results were independent of any individual physical exercise undertaken, suggesting that even if an individual meets the physical activity guidelines, their health may still be at risk if they sit for long periods of time during the day.

Dr Wilmot, a Clinical Research Fellow in Diabetes and Endocrinology based at the Leicester Diabetes Centre, Leicester General Hospital said that on average an adult spends 50-70% of their time sitting down, by limiting the time spent sitting, the risk of diabetes, heart disease and death can be reduced.

It is important to take breaks from long periods of sitting down, such as taking a walk during your lunch break and taking a break from work at the computer by placing your laptop on a filing cabinet.

  • Video explaining the research being under-taken by the NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit:

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