Sedentary Lifestyle: A Risky Business
We live in a world where being sedentary is becoming the norm.
But sitting too much can have serious health consequences, including increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease – some of the most common chronic diseases worldwide.
In particular, physical inactivity and unhealthy diets can lead to weight gain and associated metabolic disorders, which only compound these risks.
Standing Up for Health
Scientists from the Turku PET Centre and the UKK Institute in Finland wanted to see if reducing sedentary time could improve health outcomes.
They looked at whether tangible benefits could be achieved in just three months by standing more and sitting less each day.
The researchers conducted their study on a group of sedentary and physically inactive working-age adults who were at increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
They split the participants into two groups – an intervention group that was guided to reduce sitting by an hour a day, and a control group that continued with their usual sedentary habits.
Small Changes, Big Impact
In the end, the intervention group managed to reduce their sedentary time by an average of 50 minutes per day. They did this mainly by increasing their light- and moderate-intensity physical activity.
The results were encouraging – after three months, the intervention group showed improvements in blood sugar regulation, insulin sensitivity, and liver health.
The Power of Light Activity
This study suggests that even a modest increase in physical activity and a reduction in sitting time can have significant health benefits.
For many people, this might be an easier place to start than trying to drastically increase their level of exercise.
However, the researchers caution that while reducing sedentary time can help, it might not be enough on its own to prevent diseases, especially for individuals with several risk factors for diabetes and heart disease.
This study, led by Taru Garthwaite, shows the power of taking small steps towards a healthier lifestyle. So, stand up, move more, and start reaping the benefits.
If you care about bone health, please read studies about vitamin K deficiency linked to hip fractures in old people, and these vitamins could help reduce bone fracture risk.
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