Sitting Too Much?
The solution isn’t as simple as getting on your feet from time to time. The study from the Leicester Diabetes Centre confirmed that sitting for long periods can raise your blood sugar levels, possibly increasing your risk of type 2 diabetes. The researchers reported that just standing up every hour or so won’t help, but study author Joseph Henson, Ph.D., has been quoted in news reports as saying that taking five-minute walks every half hour can have a positive effect. The study showed a blood sugar reduction of about five percent and a 20 percent reduction in insulin levels among study participants who took brief walks throughout the day. Dr. Henson noted that these walks led to the most pronounced benefits among women, South Asians and people with a higher BMI – a reduction in blood sugar of about 10 percent and a 35 percent reduction in insulin levels.
My take? This is useful news, although type 2 diabetes isn’t the only risk posed by prolonged sitting. Other investigations have revealed that the more time people spent sitting, the more fat was deposited around the heart. Researchers from the University of California, San Diego have reported that while exercise doesn’t help reduce this fat, regular physical activity is effective for eliminating the visceral fat related to an increased risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome that is found around other internal organs.
Joseph Henson et al, “Predictors of the Acute Postprandial Response to Breaking Up Prolonged Sitting,” Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise, June 2020, doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000002249
More current health news from this week’s bulletin:
- Meditation & Your Heart
- Best Face Masks
- A unique green tea recipe to try: Salmon, Watercress & Sencha Soup
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