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Timaree Hagenburger Taking breaks from sitting increases health benefits

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Timaree Hagenburger

Posted: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 12:00 am

Are you an active couch potato? While most Americans can benefit from spending more time doing intentional exercise (cardiorespiratory and resistance training), even if you are getting to the gym or out for a brisk walk/jog or run five to six times a week, how are you spending the rest of your awake hours? Chances are, you are sitting too much.

There is a large amount of research showing that sitting is actually hazardous to your health! In a study of 17,000 Canadians, those who sat the most were 50 percent more likely to die during the follow-up period compared to those who sat the least, independent of age, smoking, physical activity and body weight. Inactive time dramatically increases critical biomarkers including total cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin resistance and blood glucose levels, increasing your personal risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Sitting also results in an increase in enzyme activity in our fat tissue (more fat storage) and a decrease in enzyme activity in our skeletal muscle (burn less fat as fuel).

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