Friday, August 28, 2015

More walking, less sitting can help keep diabetes at bay, docs say

Want to forestall diabetes? Don't sit so much. And walk more.

More walking, less sitting can help keep diabetes at bay, docs say

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While many of us are accustomed to sitting in our offices all day -- even going so far as eating at our desks -- doctors at today’s ADA conference say to break that habit for good.  Frank W. Booth, a heart researcher at the University of Missouri-Columbia, warned about the dangers of being sedentary, but noted how even a little physical activity can go a long way for your health. 

He described how, while human genetics have not changed since hunter-gatherer days, our lifestyles have become increasingly sedentary.  The hunter-gatherer human took about 24,000 steps per day, compared to the modern human’s 4,000 steps. The change has taken a toll on our health, as seen in the ever increasing incidence of Type II diabetes.

But Booth reassured, “reversing inactivity would reverse or prevent Type II diabetes.”  He recommends simply getting up and walking around or stretching every 30 minutes.  A 2008 study published in Diabetes Care found that taking any sort of breaks from sitting were associated with lower waist circumference, body mass index, triglycerides, and plasma glucose. 

If you find it hard to remember, take a tip from a friend of Booth’s who works at Boeing: set up a pop-up notification on your computer that reminds you to take a break. 

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Check Up is a blog for savvy health consumers, covering the latest developments, discoveries, and debates from the Philadelphia area and beyond.

Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section.

Charlotte Sutton Health and Science Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer
Tom Avril Inquirer Staff Writer, heart health and general science
Stacey Burling Inquirer Staff Writer, nueroscience and ageing
Marie McCullough Inquirer Staff Writer, cancer and women's health
Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. President, Institute for Safe Medication Practices
Daniel R. Hoffman, Ph.D. President, Pharmaceutical Business Research Associates
Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. Cardiothoracic surgeon in the Philadelphia area
Amy J. Reed, M.D., Ph.D. Anesthesiologist and Surgical Intensivist in the Philadelphia Area
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