Sunday, October 21, 2012.
Sedentary lifestyles are widely known to impact on health, however, new
research suggests long periods of sitting can lead to a greater risk of
diabetes, heart disease and death even in those meeting their exercise
Research carried out at the University of
Leicester identified a link between protracted periods of sitting and the
increased threat of diabetes, heart disease and mortality.
Scientists examined the combined results of 18
studies across 794,577 participants to draw up their conclusions.
According to the study published in Diabetologia,
the journal of the European Association of the Study of Diabetes, sitting for a
long time increased the chances of diabetes, heart disease and death by twofold.
This was irrespective of the amount of
moderate-to-vigorous exercise undertaken by the participants, even when they
achieved typical physical activity guidelines.
Clinical research fellow in diabetes and
endocrinology Dr Emma Wilmot stressed the importance of these findings in light
of the fact that the average adult spends between 50 per cent and 70 per cent
of their time sitting.
"By simply limiting the time that we spend
sitting, we may be able to reduce our risk of diabetes, heart disease and
death," she said.
She pointed out that the most consistent
associations were between sitting and diabetes, making it even more significant
for those with risk factors like obesity and family history to limit the time
they spend seated.
Co-investigator on the study Professor Stuart
Buddle suggested a number of ways people can keep active throughout the day,
even when in an office-based role.
He advised putting a laptop on a cabinet and
standing while working, holding meetings where everyone stands and taking walks
at lunch breaks.
Government guidelines suggest the average Briton
should take 150-minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic activity per week.
This should be complemented by
muscle-strengthening of the legs, hips, back, shoulders, chest, abdomen and