Sitting For Long Hours May Increase Your Diabetes Risk
Many occupations involve sitting for hours at a time, a practice that is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and metabolic illnesses like diabetes. However, some of this risk can be lessened, as a study finds that interrupting prolonged sitting with frequent short breaks helps with blood sugar control.
Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the research compared the effects on blood sugar of breaking up prolonged sitting with one session of continuous activity versus breaking up prolonged sitting with frequent brief periods of activity. Seventy adult participants were required to sit for a nine-hour period and consume a meal-replacement drink at 60, 240 and 420 minutes. One portion of the test involved breaking up the 9-hour sitting with a 30-minute walking period; the other portion of it involved breaking up the 9-hour sitting with 1-minute and 40-second walking sessions every half-hour. The findings showed that the frequent activity breaks regulated blood sugar better than the one extended-period activity break.
Frequent Activity Breaks Have Multiple Benefits
In an interview with Live in the Now, Dr. Marc Leavey, a primary care physician at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, notes that we were never meant to sit all day, emphasizing that taking frequent breaks during prolonged sitting can have multiple health benefits. “Not only do brief activity periods assist with blood sugar control but they also help prevent blood clots and blood pooling in the legs as well as reduce muscle and joint stiffness,” he says. “Other benefits include socialization and increased mental alertness. Additionally, some people want to avoid leaving their desk and going to the restroom, but holding the urine can sometimes lead to urinary tract infections.”
Many feel that if they exercise half an hour per day, they have met their activity requirement. Leavey explains that while sustained exercise is necessary for cardiovascular health and muscle strengthening, taking multiple breaks during sedentary periods is also needed for optimal health.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.