Reg­u­lar, ac­tive breaks could coun­ter­act ef­fects of seden­tary life­style

The Borneo Post - Nature and health - - Front Page -

A NEW re­view has found that al­ter­nat­ing pro­longed pe­ri­ods of sit­ting with reg­u­lar breaks to get up and move around could help to off­set the neg­a­tive ef­fects of a seden­tary life­style. Car­ried out by re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Otago, New Zealand, and the Univer­sity of Prince Edward Is­land and Univer­sity of Guelph in Canada, the re­view an­a­lysed 44 stud­ies which had re­cruited healthy males and fe­males of all ages, to com­pare the im­pact of pro­longed sit­ting for up to 24 hours against in­ter­rupted sit­ting, us­ing var­i­ous health mark­ers.

These mark­ers in­cluded post­pran­dial glu­cose (glu­cose mea­sured af­ter a meal, a spike in which can in­di­cate dif­fi­culty in metabolis­ing car­bo­hy­drates and pro­duc­ing in­sulin), in­sulin (high lev­els of which can in­di­cate insu- lin re­sis­tance and con­trib­ute to con­di­tions such as di­a­betes), and triglyc­erides (a fat lipid in the blood, which is an im­por­tant marker of heart health). The re­searchers found that com­pared to pro­longed sit­ting, tak­ing reg­u­lar breaks to per­form short, re­peated bouts of ac­tiv­ity low­ered con­cen­tra­tions of blood sugar and in­sulin in the blood­stream for up to nine hours af­ter a meal.

Con­cen­tra­tions of triglyc­erides in the blood also de­creased, although this ef­fect seems to be de­layed, only oc­cur­ring 12 to 16 hours af­ter the ac­tiv­ity. “The cur­rent phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity guide­lines to sit less and move more ap­ply to ev­ery­one,” said study au­thor Dr Mered­ith Ped­die. “Most of us spend about 75 per cent of our day sit­ting or be­ing seden­tary, and this be­hav­iour has been linked to in­creased rates of di­a­betes, car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, some can­cers and over­all mor­tal­ity.”

“We should all be find­ing ways to avoid sit­ting for long pe­ri­ods, and to in­crease the amount of move­ment we do through­out the en­tire day.” Dr Ped­die added that the most in­ter­est­ing find­ing from the re­view is that the lev­els of the re­duc­tions in blood sugar, in­sulin or fat do not ap­pear to be af­fected by the in­ten­sity of the ac­tiv­ity per­formed, what you have eaten, how old you are, or how much you weigh. How­ever, the au­thors did note that more re­search is needed to iden­tify the most ben­e­fi­cial tim­ing, du­ra­tion and mode of ac­tiv­ity break. The find­ings were pub­lished on­line in the jour­nal Sports Medicine. – Re­laxnews

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