It is a well-known fact that sitting too much can have some bad side effects to your health. Whether you just find yourself sitting a lot at home or at your job, taking even small breaks from sitting may reduce some of the negative affects that sitting can cause.
According to Dr. Meredith Peddle, a researcher at the University of Otago in New Zealand. “Most of us spend about 75 percent of our day sitting or being sedentary, and this behavior has been linked to increased rates of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, and overall mortality.” The exact reasons why prolonged sitting is so unhealthful are not fully known, but certain metabolic factors are thought to play a part.
Dr. Peddie led a group of researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand, in cooperation with scientists from the University of Prince Edward Island and the University of Guelph in Canada. The team decided to explore whether small changes in behavior may be effective at minimizing some of the negative acute metabolic and vascular effects of long periods of sedentary behavior.
Among other things, the team studied the effect of up to 24 hours of prolonged sitting following a meal. The results of these studies were then compared with individuals whose sitting was interrupted with light to moderate activity.
The study concluded that physical activity of any intensity reduces concentrations of glucose and insulin in the blood up to 9 hours after the meal. It was also found that levels of fat in the blood were reduced as well.
Perhaps the most interesting conclusion was that the beneficial changes they saw were not affected by the intensity of the activity or the age or weight of each participant. Similarly, the type of meal eaten before the prolonged sitting did not influence the results, either.
If you’re sitting for long periods, take a break and do some activity.