Modern life tends to keep us sitting at desks and conference tables during the day and on couches and recliners in the evening. Even driving home from work, where you sit at a desk, you sit in the drivers seat. When you get home you sit to take your shoes off and sit play catch up on your favorite television show. You get the picture, we sit a lot.
What you might not know is last year we learned from a scientific review of 47 studies that this sedentary behavior increases your chances of getting a disease or condition that will kill you even if you exercise. Now a new study from the Netherlands running in the journal Diabetologia suggests that even an extra 40 minutes of couch potato behavior will dramatically increase your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
Earlier studies have shown that sedentary behavior can lead to type 2 diabetes and many other diseases including cardiovascular problems, cancer and other chronic conditions. There’s a reason physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth-leading risk factor for death for people all around the world, according to the World Health Organization.
So what can you do to make sure you aren’t increasing your risk for diabetes? The most important thing you can do is be aware of how much you sit. Getting an idea of how much you sit can help you to create a plan to modify the behavior.
After you realize how much you are sitting the best thing you can do is get up and move! Easy right? If you notice you spend a lot of time sitting at work then make a plan to get up a few times an hour. Go grab some water. Instead of emailing someone in your office, walk over to them and have a face to face conversation. On your lunch break take a quick walk around the building or find a nice outdoor location close by and take a stroll.
You don’t have to run or jog. You just have to get up enough to keep the blood flowing. If you have a hard time remembering to get up, set an alarm on your phone. You can even buy a pedometer with a built in alarm to remind you to get up and move around. These are just a few idea to keep you up and healthy. Whatever you do get up and move. Your body will thank you.