Sitting for protracted periods increases risk of diabetes, heart disease and death

October 15, 2012

A new study led by the University of Leicester, in association with colleagues 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 Research Group at the University of Leicester. It was done in collaboration with colleagues from the newly established National Institute for (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, and death. Importantly, associations were independent of the amount of moderate-to- undertaken, suggesting that even if an individual meets typical , 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, said: "The average adult spends 50-70% of their 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 , 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. "

Professor Stuart Biddle, of Loughborough University, and a co-investigator on the study, said: "There are many ways we can reduce our sitting time, such as breaking up long periods at the computer at work by placing our laptop on a filing cabinet. We can have standing meetings, we can walk during the lunch break, and we can look to reduce TV viewing in the evenings by seeking out less sedentary behaviours."

Professor Melanie Davies, Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester and honorary consultant at University Hospitals of Leicester is a co-investigator and Director of the NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Unit. She said:

"This paper has a very important message for the public but also for health care professionals - namely that being sedentary is common and dangerous for our long term health, particularly for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and that this link appears to be over and above other lifestyle factors such as our diet and ."

Explore further: 'Sitting down’ risk for diabetes in South Asians regardless of exercise, waist size

Related Stories

Diabetes risk from sitting around

March 2, 2012

A new study has found that women who stay seated for long periods of time every day are more prone to developing type 2 diabetes, but that a similar link wasn't found in men.

Blood sugar diabetes risk for South Asians

July 24, 2012

A new diabetes study at the University of Leicester has discovered that South Asians (people of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Sri Lanka origin) have higher levels of blood sugar than white Europeans independent of risk ...

Recommended for you

Do germs cause type 1 diabetes?

May 16, 2016

Germs could play a role in the development of type 1 diabetes by triggering the body's immune system to destroy the cells that produce insulin, new research suggests.

Melatonin signaling is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes

May 12, 2016

A sleeping pancreas releases less insulin, but how much insulin drops each night may differ from person to person, suggests a study published May 12, 2016 in Cell Metabolism. Up to 30 percent of the population may be predisposed ...

New gene for familial high cholesterol

May 12, 2016

New research from Denmark reveals the gene that explains one quarter of all familial hypercholesterolemia with very high blood cholesterol. Familial hypercholesterolemia is the most common genetic disorder leading to premature ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.