Sitting raises the risk of diabetes - and the gym won’t help

Posted by JOrchard on 3 February, 2016

If you spend all day sitting at your desk you could be at a higher risk of developing diabetes and going to the gym in the evenings may not undo the damage!

Latest News - Dermatonics 

Experts have found that the longer someone spends inactive each day, the more likely they are to develop type two diabetes, even doing intense exercise does not reduce the the impact of sitting for lengthy periods of time.

In a study of 2,500 people, Dutch scientists calculates that every extra hour each day spent sitting down, could increase the chances of type two diabetes by a fifth.

People in Britain spend an average of nine hours sat down each day - a trend replicated in the Dutch study. Researchers used a wearable device that detects motion to track the movement of the volunteers, who had an average age of 60.

Participants wore the accelerometer strapped to their thighs for the 24 hours a day for eight days. The results showed that those with type two diabetes were the least active, spending an extra 26 minutes sitting down each day. Even when he researchers took exercise patterns into account, people who had long periods of inactivity were still much more likely to be diabetic.

The scientists, from Maastricht University, calculated that each extra hour spent sat down, above the nine hours, increases the chance of being type two diabetic by 22 per cent.

The authors led by Julianne van der Berg, had this to say about the research ‘Our findings could have important implications for public health as they suggest that sedentary behaviour may play a significant role in the development and prevention of type two diabetes, independent of high-intensity physical activity.

‘Consideration should be given to including strategies to reduce the amount of sedentary time in diabetes prevention programmes.’

The researchers, whose results appear in the journal Diabetologia, considered the possibility that people with diabetes are only less active because of their health issues, but they ruled this out when they discovered that excluding participants on insulin medication, who could be considered seriously ill, the results remained the same.

What it means for diabetes in the UK

The findings are likely to ‘wake up’ office workers - who spend an average of 75% of their working day sat in front of a computer screen - as well as lorry and taxi drivers, checkout workers and aeroplane pilots.

Doctors are worried that sitting down so much throughout the day so much is also contributing to obesity and cancer. It is also directly link to back, neck and muscle pain - the cause of 131 million sick days each year.

There are currently 4 million people in the UK living with diabetes, including an estimated 549,000 people who have type two diabetes but do not know about it. A further 11.5 million in the UK are ay increased risk of getting type two diabetes. 

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