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MU study finds that sitting may increase risk of disease
Date:11/19/2007

COLUMBIA, Mo. Most people spend most of their day sitting with relatively idle muscles. Health professionals advise that at least 30 minutes of activity at least 5 days a week will counteract health concerns, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity that may result from inactivity. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia say a new model regarding physical activity recommendations is emerging. New research shows that what people do in the other 15 and a half hours of their waking day is just as important, or more so, than the time they spend actively exercising.

Many activities like talking on the phone or watching a childs ballgame can be done just as enjoyably upright, and you burn double the number of calories while youre doing it, said Marc Hamilton, an associate professor of biomedical sciences whose work was recently published in Diabetes. Were pretty stationary when were talking on the phone or sitting in a chair at a ballgame, but if you stand, youre probably going to pace or move around.

In a series of studies that will be presented at the Second International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health in Amsterdam, Hamilton, Theodore Zderic, a post-doctoral researcher, and their research team studied the impact of inactivity among rats, pigs and humans. In humans, they studied the effects of sitting in office chairs, using computers, reading, talking on the phone and watching TV. They found evidence that sitting had negative effects on fat and cholesterol metabolism. The researchers also found that physical inactivity throughout the day stimulated disease-promoting processes, and that exercising, even for an hour a day, was not sufficient to reverse the effect.

There is a misconception that actively exercising is the only way to make a healthy difference in an otherwise sedentary lifestyle. However, Hamiltons studies found that standing and other non-exercise activities burn many calories
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Contact: Christian Basi
BasiC@missouri.edu
573-882-4430
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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