There is an excellent write-up at PLOS Blogs of recent research on sitting. Some types of work as well as watching Television and prolonged use of computers may predispose towards sedentary behaviour. Given the prominence of these changes in society, the natural question is what effects will these changes have on health? Sitting is often contrasted with exercise and in one study covered in the above post, researchers looked at people sitting for several hours with or without short breaks with exercise. They found evidence that if people were sitting without these breaks their bodies responded less well to glucose challenges than people that were taking breaks to exercise. Although this was a short term study, these types of responses are linked to metabolic problems. These in turn can be linked to other problems. For instance long term studies show an association between metabolic disturbances and cognitive impairment many decades later. These initial results are interesting as they suggest a problem and also present a simple and effective solution based on their results. There are a number of other resources featured in the post and I suspect this area of research will become increasingly important in the 21st Century.
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