Exercising and maintaining a healthy weight are two important elements in lowering your risk of diabetes. But a new study shows that even if you exercise, you could be at increased risk of diabetes depending on how long you sit each day.
Researchers at the University of Leicester and Loughborough University combined the results of 18 different studies that included over 790,000 participants. Their results were published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association of the Study of Diabetes.
The group concluded that people who sit for longer periods of time have an increased risk of diabetes as well as heart disease and death. This was true regardless of whether the individual exercised regularly or not.
A previous study at Loughborough University presented at the British Psychological Society’s Annual Occupational Conference revealed that on average in a typical work week, office workers spend more than five and a half hours sitting at a desk. Of those surveyed, nearly 70 percent of employees admitted to not meeting recommended guidelines for physical activity.
The researchers also concluded that people who sit longer at work are more likely to sit rather than move around outside of work. They also noted that increased time sitting at work corresponds with a decrease in overall mental well-being.
The overall conclusion of these two studies is that people who sit for long periods of time may be putting their health at risk, even if they meet physical activity guidelines. The team offered these suggestions to help reduce time spent sitting:
• Put a sticky note on your computer reminding you to move around.
• Take a break from sitting by placing a laptop on top of a file cabinet so you can work standing up.
• Talk to co-workers face-to-face rather than on the phone or by email.
• Take a walk during your lunch break.
Talk to your health care provider to learn more about ways you can reduce your risk of diabetes.
Science Daily. Sitting for Protracted Periods Increases Risk of Diabetes, Heart Disease and Death. Web. November 13, 2012.