Many people work in offices or need to be in front of a computer to do their jobs. However, sitting down for a long period of time can be damaging to our health in the long run.
A new study published in the European Heart Journal warns us against the dangers of sitting down constantly.
According to the researchers, standing up and walking helps us be fitter because it lowers cholesterol levels and improves blood sugar, which in turn, can help us optimize our body mass index.
The study involved about 780 men and women, whose ages ranged from 36 to 80. The researchers made use of isotemporal analysis, which is a technique that helps estimate how the time spent sitting or standing could influence their health.
Before calculating how much time these people walked, stood up or sat down every day, they collected blood samples and measured their weight and blood pressure.
The people who spent more time standing up had lower blood sugar and fats (triglycerides) and those who walked had a lower BMI (body mass index) and a slimmer waistline. Two hours spent standing resulted in better cholesterol levels, 2 percent lower blood sugar and 11 percent lower level of triglycerides.
Those who would spend 2 hours walking reduced their BMI and blood sugar by 11 percent and their triglycerides level by 14 percent.
Standing up and walking are linked to better metabolic rate and a healthier heart in general.
“While the study cannot show that less time spent sitting causes the improvements in these markers of health, the associations it reveals are consistent with what is known already about the benefits of a non-sedentary lifestyle. More work is needed to understand cause and effect, ” said Dr. Genevieve Healy, who works at the University of Queensland’s School of Public Health in Australia.
There are people who need to sit down while at work because it is harder to work on your computer standing up, for example. However, it is wise to alternate between these two modes and try to take a walk from time to time, to prevent a sedentary lifestyle from affecting your general health.
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