By Beatrice Mokwunye
Multiple studies over the years have shown that people who sit longer than an hour are likely to die young.
In a 2010 study published in the journal of Applied Physiology, a group of healthy men was asked to limit their number of footsteps by 85 percent for 2 weeks. At the end of the study, there was, noticeably, 17 percent decrease in their insulin indicating a higher risk of diabetes.
Peter Katzmarztyk along with his colleagues in Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana also studied the lifestyle of 17,000 men and women for a long period. Thereafter, they found that 54 percent of those who spend days sitting developed a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases including chest problem, heart failure, and significant others.
Further study was carried out by some groups of Australian physiologists, in 2013. About 63,048 middle-aged men were surveyed. The physiologists, however, discovered that those who sat down for more than four hours a day were prone to developing chronic diseases like heart attack.
Excessive sitting depletes the efficacy of lipoprotein lipase (LPL)—a particular enzyme located in the leg muscles. LPL is responsible for burning up fat to release energy.
The more you sit, the more likely you are to accumulate fat and inactivate the muscles of your body leading to a drop in insulin level as well as inflammations. While inflammation opens up to heart diseases, low level of insulin increases the risk of diabetes. These two endemic diseases are the leading causes of death today.
Although sitting is almost unavoidable, these few tips can help you keep fit:
For every hour you sit, spend another few minutes out of the chair. You could take a walk around your office, home or where ever you are. Do some moderate exercises like stretching, spreading your arms apart or going up and down the staircase.
In most cases, you could eat your snacks standing. With that, you can limit the amount of fat storage in your belly, leg muscles and related areas.
Instead of lift or an elevator, why not use the staircase since that’d be an opportunity to stretch your muscles after long hours of sitting in the office or cinema.
If your job demands you sitting for long hours, make it a daily habit to engage in at least 30 minutes exercise every morning and night.
Instead of boarding a bike or cab, trek short distances.
Finally, stay hydrated. Drink enough water each day.
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