The average person spends half of their life sitting down, but this is not healthy at all. Studies have shown that this can increase the risk of numerous illnesses. However, people can counteract the health effects of sitting all day by spending more of their time standing. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that reducing the time one spends sitting will help increase telomere length. Telomeres are protective caps that are made of protein and DNA. They are found at the end of chromosomes, and they help stop damage from occurring during cell division.
Telomeres affect how long a cell lives. Shorter telomeres have been linked to obesity, stroke, many types of cancer and heart disease. Researchers believe that standing up may protect people's health by helping them develop longer telomeres.
Physicians are also being encouraged to stand up while they are at work. A study done by the University Of Cambridge showed that physicians who sit down all day are putting their health at risk. That is why Dr. Mohammed Rashid, who also works at the University of Cambridge, has stated that physicians should have consultations with their patients while standing.
The study also showed that exercise does not neutralize the effects of sitting down all day. The researchers found that the people who had the greatest increase in telomere length were not the ones who spent the most time exercising. The people who reduced their sitting time the most were the ones who experienced the greatest increase in telomere length.
Many people believe that sitting down for several hours is not harmful if they exercise. However, the results of the study support previous findings that sitting down for long periods of time is not healthy even if one exercises. There was another study done that illustrated the dangerous effects of sitting down all day. The study involved 92,000 postmenopausal women. The results of the showed that women who sat for 11 hours per day were 12 percent more likely to die from any condition.
The women were also 27 percent more likely to die from heart disease. Additionally, they were 21 percent more likely to die from cancer. When a person sits for a long time, this means that the muscles are not contracting. This can have a negative effect on the body's metabolism. It can also increase triglyceride levels, which are unhealthy fats. Additionally, it can also lower high-density lipoprotein, or good cholesterol in the body.
Taking regular walks, spending less time sitting and limiting television time are some of the things people can do to reduce their risk of conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Sitting time is often spent watching television. One study showed that people who spend a lot of time sitting may have a shorter life expectancy. In fact, an adult who watches more than six hours of television per day can expect to live approximately 4.8 years less than people who do not watch television at all.