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Prolonged sitting linked to certain diseases, early death

February 13, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Whether it is work, traffic or even downtime, we are sitting more than ever before and it's taking a toll on our health.

"It's amazing, there's so much information coming out that talks about, if you sit for three hours or more a day you increase your risk of certain diseases and certain cancers," said Holly Perkins, a fitness expert.

Perkins was referring to studies in the Journal of American Medical Association that link prolonged sitting with a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, liver disease and even early death. What's more stunning about the study is - this holds true even for those who do some daily physical activity.

"Human beings are designed to work," explained Perkins. "Our mind, our body, our spirit, our hormones, our metabolism, the way that we manage food, the way that we build muscle and repair muscle - we are built to be active."

So even if you work out, there is a correlation if you sit more than six hours a day. Why? Experts think all that inactivity influences triglycerides, blood pressure and hormones. In turn, this regulates fat.

So while the message remains that we need to exercise, the message now extends to say - we need to sit less.

If it is necessary for you to be sitting for a long period of time, learn to take a commercial break for about two minutes. Do something active like walking or some moderate activity. This will increase your circulation and regulate your insulin and glucose levels.

Walking is the easiest, but even 30 seconds to one minute bouts of movement helps glucose get to muscles efficiently.

For example, try a simple chair squat, a bumper push up or a squat trunk rotation.

If you're stumped on how to bust a move, there are plenty of exercises free of charge online that will help you get off that chair.

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