A new study led by the University of Leicester, in association with researchers at Loughborough University, has discovered that sitting for long periods increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease and death.
The study, which combined the results of 18 studies and included a total of 794,577 participants, was led by Dr Emma Wilmot, a research fellow in the Diabetes Research Group at the University of Leicester.
It was done in collaboration with colleagues from the newly established National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit and was published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association of the Study of Diabetes.
According to the study, those who sit for long periods have a two fold increase in their risk of diabetes, heart disease and death. Importantly, associations were independent of the amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity undertaken, suggesting that even if an individual meets typical physical activity guidelines, their health may still be compromised if they sit for long periods of time throughout the day.
Dr Wilmot, a Clinical Research Fellow in Diabetes and Endocrinology based at the Leicester Diabetes Centre, Leicester General Hospital, says, ''The average adult spends 50 per cent - 70 per cent of the time sitting so the findings of this study have far reaching implications. By simply limiting the time that we spend sitting, we may be able to reduce our risk of diabetes, heart disease and death''.
''Our study also showed that the most consistent associations were between sitting and diabetes. This is an important message because people with risk factors for diabetes, such as the obese, those of South Asian ethnic origin, or those with a family history of diabetes, may be able to help reduce their future risk of diabetes by limiting the time spent sitting. ''