What do London bus drivers, astronauts and older people have in common?

The link between illness and sitting first emerged in the 1950’s, when researchers found London bus drivers were twice as likely to have heart attacks as their bus conductor colleagues.

Image result for red bus

There has been an explosion of research on the ills of sitting in the past few years, prompted by our increasingly sedentary lifestyles.

It is thought excessive sitting slows the metabolism – which affects our ability to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, and metabolise fat – and may cause weaker muscles and bones.

“Essentially, the body is ‘shutting down’ while sitting and there is little muscle activity,” says Professor Biddle.

Research on astronauts in the early 70s found life in zero gravity was linked with accelerated bone and muscle loss and ageing.

“Sitting for an extended period of time is thought to simulate, albeit to a lesser degree, the effects of weightlessness on astronauts,” says Professor Biddle.

  Image result for astronaut

Sitting for long periods is thought to slow the metabolism, which affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat.

Many adults in the UK spend more than seven hours a day sitting or lying, and this typically increases with age to 10 hours or more.  This includes watching TV, using a computer, and reading, doing homework, travelling by car, bus or train but does not include sleeping.  

Studies have linked excessive sitting with being overweight and obese, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and early death.

Sitting for long periods is thought to slow the metabolism, which affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat.

(A short excerpt from an article posted on http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/sitting-and-sedentary-behaviour-are-bad-for-your-health.aspx)

Bottom line:  sit less.

 

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