Clocking too many sitting hours damages our livers, according to a new study coming from South Korea.
Previous studies have showed that clocking too many sitting hours leads to obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Unsurprisingly, it also damages our livers. The sedentary lifestyle the majority of us are trapped into, with long office hours, TV time and increasingly more work extending to hours spent at home is taking its toll.
The main finding of the study indicates that people who clock ten or more hours sitting have nine percent higher risk of developing what the medical community calls nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD.
As it’s usually the case, people who follow a physical activity routine safeguard their health and have better chances of fending off all the risks associated with clocking too many sitting hours. According to the research findings, those who engaged in physical activity had 20 percent less chances of being diagnosed with NAFLD.
Doctor Seungho Ryu, author of the study and professor of occupational and environmental medicine with the Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, South Korea stated:
“More than half of the average person’s waking day involves sedentary activities”.
Building on this observation, Doctor Ryu and his team conducted a research on the effects that too much sitting has on the liver, including 139,000 men and women. All the participants self-reported how many hours they spent sitting and how many being physically active. The average age of the study group was 39.9 years old. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease was confirmed with the help of ultrasonography tests.
Following, the research team announced that approximately 40,000 participants were diagnosed with NAFLD. Combining these results with those of the international Physical Activity Questionnaire Short Form, it resulted that both long sitting hours and low levels of physical activity may be linked independently with a higher incidence of the liver disease.
We aren’t fully protected against NAFLD even if we follow intense physical activity routines, although they certainly help in maintaining a healthier lifestyle. Ideally, we should cut our sitting time and increase the level of physical activity to protect our bodies from the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
Michael Trenell, who is a professor of lifestyle medicine and metabolism with the Newcastle University, UK and author of the editorial that accompanied the South Korean study published in the Journal of Hepatology, stated:
“The message is clear, our chairs are slowly but surely killing us. Our body is designed to move and it is not surprising that sedentary behavior, characterized by low muscle activity, has a direct impact on physiology”.
To avoid complications stemming from a sedentary lifestyle and clocking too many sitting hours it’s recommended that we make the time for approximately 150 minutes of exercising per week. Alternatively, 10,000 steps daily may take us a long way health-wise.
Photo Credits: technogym.com