Sitting All Day Long Shortens Life, Even If You Exercise.

Sitting All Day Long Shortens Life, Even If You Exercise.

Reducing the time you spend sitting to three or fewer
hours each day can help you live two years longer. Reducing TV
watching time to fewer than two hours each day raises life
expectancy by another 1.4 years (British Medical Journal,
published online July 9, 2012). Pooled data from five studies
involving 167,000 adults was used to compare the time North
American adults spent sitting and watching TV with life
expectancy. They showed that North American adults sit 55
percent of their waking hours; 27 percent of deaths could be
attributed to sitting, and 19 percent to watching television.
The average North American watches TV five hours a day,
and watching TV more than two hours a day increase risk for
diabetes by 20 percent, heart attacks by 15 percent, and
premature death by 13 percent (JAMA, June 15, 2011). Thirty
minutes per day of exercise does not protect you completely
from the other 23.5 hours you are not exercising.
HOW SITTING ALL DAY CAN HARM YOU: A high rise in blood
sugar can damage every cell in your body. When blood sugar
levels rise too high, sugar sticks to the outer membranes of
cells. Once there, sugar cannot get off. It is eventually
converted to sorbitol which destroys the cell to cause the many
side effects of diabetes.
Resting muscles draw no sugar from the bloodstream, so
they do not protect you from a high rise in blood sugar. On the
other hand, contracting muscles can draw sugar from the
bloodstream without even needing insulin.
WHEN DOES BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS RISE THE HIGHEST? After you
eat, blood sugar levels rise the highest. So the most important
times to contract your muscles are just before and after you eat.
MOVING BEFORE YOU EAT: You get maximum protection from a
high rise in blood sugar during exercise and the more vigorous
the exercise, the greater the protection. This high level of
protection remains for a short time after you finish exercising,
so move your muscles before you eat.
MOVING AFTER YOU EAT: Contracting your muscles after you
eat draws sugar from your bloodstream to protect you from high
rises in blood sugar.
EXERCISE PROTECTS AGAINST RISE OF BLOOD SUGAR WITH AGING:
A high fasting blood sugar is a sign of cell damage. Fasting
blood sugar levels rise as people age. After age 35, people who
did not exercise had twice the rise in fasting blood sugar,
compared to those who exercised regularly (Ann Epidemiol, July 3,
2012).

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