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RiAus

WATCH: What Is Sitting Down Doing to Your Health?

SCIENCEALERT STAFF
5 DEC 2014

There's a growing amount of research suggesting that the amount of time you spend sitting down can increase your risk of various medical problems, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, says the latest episode of RiAus's A Week In Science.

 

One particular study found that the amount of time that people sat down altered the length of their telomeres. Telomeres are the DNA caps on the end of our chromosomes, and each time a cell divides in our body, the telomeres are getting shorter and shorter. The natural process of ageing eventually leads to telomeres that are so short, the cell can no longer divide. But certain diseases or behaviours can alter the length of our telomeres too, and speed up this process, increasing the risk of being affected by age-related conditions. One such behaviour turns out to be sitting.

Surprisingly, studies have shown that the amount of exercise you do doesn't reduce the negative effects of sitting down. When the researchers analysed the effects of sitting down on people who were super-fit and exercised frequently, such as runners, they found that sitting was just as bad for them as in people who didn't exercise.

The solution? Standing desks. Watch the latest episode of RiAus's A Week In Science above to find out more about how to mitigate the negative effects of sitting.

 Source: RiAus