Sitting for Long Periods Raises Risk for Diabetes and Heart Disease

Limiting the amount of time spent sitting may reduce a person’s risk of developing diabetes and heart disease, a new study has found.

In fact, sitting for long periods doubles the risk of not just diabetes and heart disease, but also death – possibly even for a person who exercises regularly, according to researchers from the University of Leicester and Loughborough University.

The most consistent association was between sitting and diabetes, said Dr. Emma Wilmot, a research fellow in the Diabetes Research Group at the University of Leicester. “This is an important message because 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.”

The study, which combined the results of 18 studies and included a total of 794,577 participants, was published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association of the Study of Diabetes.

“There are many ways we can reduce our sitting time, such as breaking up long periods at the computer at work by placing our laptop on a filing cabinet,” said co-author of the study, Stuart Biddle, a professor at Loughborough University. “We can have standing meetings, we can walk during the lunch break, and we can look to reduce TV viewing in the evenings by seeking out less sedentary behaviors.”

Source: University of Leicester news release

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