-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Could sofas and chairs be
bad for your health? New research suggests that as time spent
sitting goes up, so does a person's odds for type 2 diabetes.
Telling people to avoid sitting might even be more effective in
staving off diabetes than exhorting them to exercise more, the
British researchers said.
Patients are typically advised to do moderate-to-vigorous
exercise for at least 150 minutes a week to stay fit and avoid
obesity and diabetes. But the findings from two studies suggest
that reducing sitting time by 90 minutes a day could provide
important health benefits.
The findings were published Feb. 27 in the journal
Targeting the hours people typically spend sitting at home or at
work might be a useful strategy in combating the diabetes epidemic,
lead researcher leader Joseph Henson, of the University of
Leicester, said in a journal news release. "Moreover, sedentary
time occupies large portions of the day," unlike that typically
devoted to exercise, Henson added.
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
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.
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 and cardiovascular prevention programs concentrating solely on [exercise] may overlook an area that is of fundamental importance to cardiometabolic 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.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases has more about
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