Too Much Screen Time Means Health Decline

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Reduced LL activity leads to higher levels of circulating fats such as triglycerides in the blood, which could explain some of the link between an inactive lifestyle and cardiovascular disease.

New evidence shows that lack of movement may also impair glucose metabolism, predisposing desk jockeys to type two diabetes as well.

"I would speculate that the list of sitting-specific health harms will be getting longer and longer in the years to come; this area of research is in its infancy," Stamatakis says.

And, while it's true that more and more people remain seated during the bulk of their working hours, this particular investigation only examined "recreational sitting" because, the researchers reasoned, it's discretionary and the most obvious place people can make changes in their lives.

Sports fanatics like Herbin, for example, could get at least some viewing time out of their systems by tuning into the game while jogging on the treadmill.

He might consider slowly pedaling a stationary bike while watching or standing for at least part of the time he's cheering on his favorite team. Avoiding the inevitable mindless screen eating can also help him stay slim and healthy.

Exercise Important in Countering Sedentary Life

Stamatakis adds that since modern life has moved to the sluggish end of the activity continuum we need to find ways to make moving and standing the default states and sitting the exception.

Even though a formal workout program didn't appear to offer protection from the ill effects in this study, Stamatakis still cautions that avoiding sitting is not enough to make up for lack of exercise; we should all still aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity daily.

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