Don’t sit and wait for ill-health
AUSTRALIANS need to vacate their couches, chairs and computers in the fight against diabetes and heart disease.
Many adults can spend more than 70 per cent of their day sitting, being virtually immobile, says Prof Neville Owen, of the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute.
“Physical activity is so fundamentally important and is being under-utilised in many areas of preventive health and medicine,” he said. While the recommended daily 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise was to be commended, Prof Owen said this was only a tiny proportion of people’s waking hours.
Studies had shown that sitting time was a strong predictor of health risks and resulting premature deaths, while others had shown the benefits of breaking up sitting time, especially in the workplace. Baker IDI had done research where people sat all day then had their blood glucose, insulin and other levels measured.
“They then have one experimental day when they just break up their sitting time every half an hour, moving for two to three minutes,” Prof Owen said.
This resulted in “huge improvements” in their levels.