New research suggests office workers, and others whose jobs require long hours sitting at a desk, need to take a stand for their health — literally. University of Leicester scientists have found sitting for extended periods significantly increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease and death.
The findings — published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association of the Study of Diabetes — are based on an analysis of 18 studies involving 794,577 participants.
Lead researcher Dr. Emma Wilmot said the results showed people who sit for long periods have a twofold increase in their risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death, even if they meet the recommendations that most adults get at least 20-30 minutes of daily moderate-to-vigorous exercise.SPECIAL: These 4 Things Happen Right Before a Heart Attack — Read More.
"The average adult spends 50-70 percent of their time sitting so the findings of this study have far reaching implications. By simply limiting the time that we spend sitting, we may be able to reduce our risk of diabetes, heart disease and death," said Wilmot, a researcher with the Leicester Diabetes Centre, Leicester General Hospital.
"Our study also showed that the most consistent associations were between sitting and diabetes. This is an important message because people with risk factors for diabetes, such as the obese, those of South Asian ethnic origin, or those with a family history of diabetes, may be able to help reduce their future risk of diabetes by limiting the time spent sitting."
Stuart Biddle, a co-researcher with Loughborough University, said people can reduce their risks by putting laptops and computers on a filing cabinet, so they have to stand up while working. Office workers can also have "standing meetings," take walks during their lunch hours, and make an effort to take periodic breaks from desk work.SPECIAL: These 4 Things Happen Right Before a Heart Attack — Read More.