`Sedentary lifestyle invites heart diseases, cancers`

Sydney: Sedentary life is not only an invitation to obesity, but is also linked with something much worse - heart diseases and cancers, research said.

Particularly overweight office workers, drivers and call centre staff, who sit for long periods, need to break up their sitting time with activity breaks, to keep ill health at bay.

Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute researchers examined spikes in participants’ blood glucose levels after consuming a high-calorie meal.

They found that their bodies were much more effective in controlling glucose and insulin levels when they performed regular two-minute bouts of either light or moderate-intensity activity, the journal Diabetes Care reports.

David Dunstan, Baker associate professor, explained: “When we eat, we get rises in blood glucose. With larger and more frequent rises in blood glucose, we gradually accumulate damage to the walls of our veins and arteries."

"This increases our susceptibility to heart disease. So, we want to minimise these rises in order to improve our health outcomes,” added Dustan, according to a Baker IDI statement.

Repeated spikes in glucose, or blood sugar, are known to contribute to the hardening of the arteries and cardiovascular disease. Insulin is important, because it plays a key role in controlling blood sugar levels.

“In a controlled lab environment that mimicked the typical patterns of desk-bound office workers, participants who interrupted their sitting time with regular activity breaks, showed up to 30% improvement in the body’s response to a meal containing glucose," said Dunstan.

"The good news is that the improvements were seen even with light-intensity activity, which is the equivalent of strolling,” concluded Dunstan.


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