If you work in an office – as many of us do – you probably spend many hours sitting at a desk. Then, when you go home, you may spend more hours in front of your laptop or the TV. All those hours on your behind may add up to a greater risk of diabetes, heart disease and death, according to a new study from British researchers.
The study, which was published in the journal Diabetologia, combined the results of 18 studies with a total of nearly 800,000 participants – which means that the conclusions are worth noting.
The researchers found that people who sit for long periods double their risk of diabetes, heart disease and death even if they exercise regular and meet recommended exercise guidelines. It seems like sitting was enough to increase the risk of disease.
According to the researchers, the average adult spends 50 to 70 percent of his or her time sitting. That means that reducing the risk of disease could be as simple as reducing the amount of time spent sitting.
One way to do this at the office is to take regular work breaks. I try to do that myself at least every hour – even if it means just getting up and walking down the hall for a few minutes. I also try to take phone calls standing up if I can.
Neither of these will fix the problem of a sedentary lifestyle – but they could be a few steps in the right direction.