Washington: A new study has revealed that reducing the sitting hours can help people in protecting the aging of DNA and possibly extend their lifespan.
It was found that reducing sedentary activity appeared to lengthen telomeres, which sit on the end of chromosomes, the DNA storage units in each cell.
Telomeres are important because they stop chromosomes from 'fraying' or clumping together and 'scrambling' the genetic codes they contain, performing a role similar to the plastic tips on the end of shoelaces, to which they have been likened.
Longevity and a healthy lifestyle have been linked to telomere length, but whether physical activity could make any difference, was not clear.
The researchers wrote that in many countries formal exercise might be increasing, but at the same time people spend more time sitting, which was the growing concern that not only low physical activity but probably also sitting and sedentary behavior was an important and new health hazard of our time.
The study concluded that reduction in sitting hours was of greater importance than an increase in exercise time for elderly risk individuals.