Everyone should aim to reduce their sitting time by 90 minutes in a day in order to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.
Leaving your desk for 5 minutes an hour may be more important than going to the gym
Current advice states that people should exercise moderately or harder for at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week, in order to prevent Type 2 diabetes.
But a new study suggests that getting up from the desk for five minutes of standing or walking every hour is more important than going to the gym for preventing the condition.
Academics from University of Leicester carried out research on nearly 900 patients. They looked at the amount of time the participants spent sitting down, how frequently they got up, and how much moderate activity they carried out.
Writing in the journal Diabetologia, the researchers found that sitting down for long periods of time without breaks has a more important impact on blood glucose levels, fat deposits and ‘bad’ cholesterol than whether the participant exercised regularly.
Those who carried out moderate to vigorous exercise did have a lower risk of developing diabetes, but limiting sitting time was more important.
Joseph Henson, from the university’s Diabetes Research Unit, said: "Given the lack of current recommendations, it seems logical that individuals should break their sedentary time with five minutes of standing or walking every 60 minutes.
"Throughout the day, individuals should aim to reduce sitting time by 90 minutes in order to achieve health benefits."
The results were similar among groups of older and young adults.
Dr Matthew Hobbs, head of research at Diabetes UK, said: "This study adds to the extensive evidence that spending a lot of time sitting or lying down is linked to an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes and that being more physically active can help to reduce this risk.”
At the moment, the Department of Health states that sedentary time is bad for your health, but there are no specific guidelines on for how long you should get up or move around.
Dr Richard Theo, of health insurance comparison website ActiveQuote, said: “People who are looking for motivation to stay fit and active should look for a health insurance policy offering discounted gym membership.”
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013