London: A new study has revealed that young adults who sit around for just two weeks without doing any physical activities are at increased risk of reducing muscle mass, metabolic health, that may accelerate the development of chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease.
The study has showed that just 14 days of physical inactivity in young healthy people can cause obesity, poor metabolic health, accelerated musculoskeletal decline, and potentially premature death.
Dan Cuthbertson of the University of Liverpool, Britain said, "The results emphasise the importance of remaining physically active, and highlight the dangerous consequences of continuous sedentary behaviour."
For the study, the team investigated the risk factors for developing disease after 14 days of physical inactivity in 28 healthy people with a mean age of 25 years and a mean BMI of 25 kg/m2.
Following the period of inactivity, significant changes in body composition were observed, including loss of skeletal muscle mass and increases in total body fat.
The changes in body fat tended to accumulate centrally, which is a major risk factor for developing chronic diseases.
Overall, cardio-respiratory fitness levels declined sharply and participants were unable to run for as long or at the same intensity as previously.
A substantial loss in skeletal muscle mass was also noted, with a reduction in both total (whole body) lean mass (average loss 0.36 kg) and leg lean mass (average loss 0.21 kg).
Cuthbertson said,"Our day to day physical activity is key to abstaining from disease and health complications. People must avoid sitting for long periods of time."
The study was presented at the European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Portugal.
(With IANS inputs)