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The Journal of Physical Activity and Health published a study which identifies the habits that will lead to the disability of the people in their 60s through a series of test. The study shows that even if you exercise frequently, it will have no effect on lessening the health hazards of too much sitting. It concluded that people who sat the most were more likely to develop a disability. Every hour of sitting implies 46% more probability of having difficulty in accomplishing daily activities.
A similar study was conducted at the University of Stockholm on 49 overweight, sedentary adults in their late sixties. The focus was to measure the length of the telomere throughout their blood cells. A telomere is a region of repetitive DNA at the end of a chromosome. It acts as a protector of the chromosome from aging and deterioration.
A questionnaire was used to determine the amount of sitting time of the participants. The first half of the participants were given an exercise program for six months while the second half did not. The study concluded that the decrease in sitting time was associated with an increase in the length of telomere among the respondents.
Several diseases are linked to shortened telomeres, also premature aging and even early death. To help your body delay or prevent your DNA from aging, you need to reduce your sitting time. Sit less and stand more! Long telomeres keep chromosomes from clumping together, scramble and fray the genetic code.
Mai-Lis Hellenius, the researcher, and professor of Karolinska University said that the latest addition to health hazards are sitting and sedentary behaviour. Since the length of telomeres is linked to standing, reducing sitting time will increase its length and the number of years they will live. She added that less time sitting should be prioritized more rather than the increase in exercise, especially for the elderly who are at risk of disability.
Desk job workers should be standing, walking and stretching more. Although some task requires sitting such as driving and computer-related work, it should not be the basis for extended sitting. Companies such as Google and Facebook distributed standing desk to its employees as a way to improve their health. It turns out to be of advantage since most employees reported to be more alert, focused and productive.