One study notes that patients who spend more hours sitting for long intervals without getting up are twice as likely to die from any cause than those who sit for shorter intervals.
One of the leading researchers, Dr. Alter, believes that a sedentary lifestyle can cause, given the absence of activity, the muscles to metabolise sugars less efficiently. This inefficient metabolism then causes the accumulation of fat which will lead the patient to obesity, diabetes, heart disease etc.
Dr. Francisco Martínez Peñalver – Medical Director Neolife Marbella
People who avoid long working days sat at a desk and stretch their legs for half an hour a day have better health than those who do not.
In older adult patients, “sedentary behaviour” has been traditionally defined as one of the 7 most significant vascular risk factors. When we speak of “sedentary behaviour” we do not refer solely to periods of inactivity but to the duration of said periods of inactivity. Those who are inactive for large parts of the day are more likely to die at an early age than those who exercise on a daily basis or those who do not remain seated for prolonged periods of time. Studies of elite athletes have also demonstrated that sedentary behaviours are associated with the existence of central obesity, regardless of age, weekly training time or residual fat mass. Activity surveys were not conducted as part of this study however, but patients were provided with accelerometers for a week, which determined the level of activity performed in 7,985 adults aged 45 and over. This study suggests that those patients who avoid prolonged working hours at a desk and stretch their legs for half an hour a day have a better profile than those who do not take such breaks.
This last aspect highlights that not only do you have to be active during the day the amount of time spent exercising should be a period of constant exercise. In addition to exercise we must add an awareness that it is important to avoid prolonged periods of time sitting in front of a computer screen at work. After 4 years of monitoring, the study participants were divided into groups according to the number of hours of inactivity each day they had recorded and the duration of each interval of inactivity.
It has been noted that patients who spend more hours sitting for long intervals without getting up are twice as likely to die from any cause than those who sit for shorter intervals and perform more exercise during the day. The study is an observational descriptive survey which focuses on the impact of a sedentary life on life expectancy, but has a number of limitations. Firstly, the accelerometers used do not distinguish whether the patient was sitting or standing statically during the period of inactivity.
Secondly, the study describes a single event, but is not in any way intended to identify the physiological mechanisms that lead to said event: rather it is a gateway to later studies that will discover the reasons behind the relationships that exist. One of the leading researchers in the field, Dr. Alter, head of the University Health Network-Toronto Rehabilitation Institute in Canada, believes that a sedentary lifestyle can cause, given the absence of activity, the muscles to metabolize sugars less efficiently. This inefficient metabolism then causes the accumulation of fat which will lead the patient to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc.
In summary, it is important to ensure people are aware that periods of inactivity increase common vascular risk factors and that prolonged intervals of physical inactivity should be interrupted constantly so that they do not lead to the same deleterious effect.
At Neolife, amongst the cornerstones that we consider essential for the well-being of our patients, 3 are held above all others: diet, replacement therapy with bioidentical hormone and exercise. The content of this study has helped us to organise physical activities with the patient and ensure that the activities are the most appropriate for each patient.
(1) Patterns of Sedentary Behavior and Mortality in U.S. Middle-Aged and Older Adults: A National Cohort Study. Diaz KM, Howard VJ, Hutto B, Colabianchi N, Vena JE, Safford MM, Blair SN, Hooker SP.Ann Intern Med. 2017 Sep 12. (2) Sedentary Bout Durations Are Associated with Abdominal Obesity in Older Adults. Júdice PB1, Silva AM, Sardinha LB. J Nutr Health Aging. 2015 Oct;19(8):798-804 (3) Sedentary behaviour and adiposity in elite athletes. Júdice PB1, Silva AM, Magalhães JP, Matias CN, Sardinha LB. J Sports Sci. 2014;32(19):1760-7.