The dream of every parent is that the kids will go to college, get a good degree so that they could get well-paid job in an office. Scientists now say that a sitting job, although easier and more comfortable that more menial, physical labor, might shorten the life of your offspring. You should have let him become a firefighter as he wanted.
Sitting and early death
The results of the new study published in the journal Diabetologia show that the average person living in a developed country spends almost 70 percents of life sitting.
The study compiled results of 18 studies which involved 794,577 people, so the results are more than reliable. And those results are scary. They show that people with most sedentary lifestyle – those that spend most of their time sitting – have 112 percents more risk of developing diabetes, 147 percents more risk of heart disease and almost 50 percents more risk of premature death.
The study considered time spent sitting not only the time lounging in front of the TV, but sitting at your desk or computer.
The results were more or less the same for people who did the recommended half hour of exercise a day.
What is going on?
We are taught that we need to exercise in order to get the heart going and blood flowing in order to stay healthy. But, the new study shows that it might not be enough. Prolonged sitting prevents contraction of long skeletal muscles, especially muscles in the legs. One possible explanation for why would this have such detrimental effects on the health even if we exercise regularly is that passive muscles use less fuel. If not spent, energy accumulates in the form of sugar in our blood. The results are, as we know, diabetes, cardiovascular problems and other health issues.
This does not seem to be enough of an explanation, so a number of studies is ongoing in order to find the link between harmless sitting and serious health risks.
What can we do?
Scientists suggest to start by cutting the time spent in front of the TV. Anything over two hours is considered risky behavior.
The long hours spent sitting in the office can be broken by short periods of moving. It can be the trip to the copy machine, using stairs instead of the elevator, strolling to the colleague’s office. Anything works, as long as we move.
That would of course not replace your necessary daily half hour of exercise, in whatever form you prefer it.