This Article is About
health and fitness
harvard school of public health
diabetes and heart disease
body muscles
frank hu
blood glucose
school of public health
risk of obesity
high density
metabolic syndrome
Stand Up For Better Health And Fitness
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Stand Up for Better Health And Fitness

Most people understand that they have to exercise and eat well to be healthy. What they may not understand is that sitting down might put them at serious, increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Marc Hamilton, Ph.D., a Professor of Biomedical Science at the University of Missouri in Colombia, has conducted a study which has led him to call sitting down an “insidious hazard.”

That study revealed how the simple act of sitting may decrease or completely shut down the circulation of lipase, a fat absorbing enzyme generated by the human body. That enzyme, lipase, promotes the body to burn its supply of stored fat and may play a role in reducing overall blood cholesterol as well. Standing up, according to the study, burns nearly one hundred calories without any activity at all and also levels out the blood glucose, further reducing the risk of diabetes. To stand up, muscles have to be engaged, including the larger, lower body muscles and the core muscles which are key to balance. Standing also increases the level of high density lipids (HDL) otherwise known as the good cholesterol/. Chronic sitters may decrease this number by just over twenty percent.

In the United States alone, there are nearly fifty million people who suffer with the condition called metabolic syndrome which increases the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease as well as others. Sitting down for extended periods may increase the risk of metabolic syndrome by as much as three times. It is important to realize how important standing up is and actually getting up and moving around at least once an hour.

Lipase plays a very important role. When it is activated, fat is sent to the muscles to be used as fuel. When this enzyme is not on, however, it is stored as body fat or may clog the arteries instead.

In 2007, a similar study revealed how dangerous tv time could be as well. In that study, authored by Dr. Frank Hu at the Harvard School of Public Health, the link between hours of tv per day and an increased risk of disease and death was unmistakable. According to Hu, for every two hours of television time, the risk of heart disease and diabetes went up 15-20% while the risk of dying went up 13%. A separate study showed that an increase in television watching increases the blood pressure readings in obese children. The same study showed that when overweight kids watched food on commercials, they more than doubled their own food intake.

American adults average just over five hours of television viewing per day while Australians log in just 3.5-4 hours. These studies which were reviewed by Hu spanned 7-10 years and involved as many as 200,000 people. People who are watching television are typically just sitting there, no exercising and likely eating unhealthy foods like sodas, chips and others.


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